New York Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal has responded to rumors accusing the newspaper of publishing its recent Benghazi report in order to prepare for an endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
The Times reported Saturday that after months of investigating, it found no reason to believe al-Qaeda was behind the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack. The article discredited many of the GOP's ideas about what happened that day and their criticisms of the Obama administration, causing a wave of backlash from Republicans in recent days.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) accused The Times on Sunday of releasing the story in order to "clear the deck" for Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state during the attack, to run in the 2016 election. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) said the paper was "already laying the groundwork" for Clinton's run, asserting there must have been "political reasons" behind the article.
Rosenthal wrote off these arguments in a blog post Monday, calling the GOP's claim that the newspaper had ulterior motives "particularly hilarious":
Since I will have more to say about which candidate we will endorse in 2016 than any other editor at the Times, let me be clear: We have not chosen Mrs. Clinton. We have not chosen anyone [emphasis added]. I can also state definitively that there was no editorial/newsroom conspiracy of any kind, because I knew nothing about the Benghazi article until I read it in the paper on Sunday.
Read Rosenthal's full blog post here.