A top Republican on the House Intelligence committee said Sunday that he has "seen no information" that there was a separate protest going on outside the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, before an attack that ultimately killed the U.S. ambassador and three other staffers.
"I have seen no information that shows that there was a protest going on as you have seen around any other embassy at the time," Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It was clearly designed to be an attack."
Rogers's remarks come amid a flurry of confusing and conflicting statements from the administration over what took place in Libya on Sept. 11, a day that also saw massive protests across the Muslim world over an obscure anti-Islam film.
In early descriptions of the attacks, the administration had linked the two events -- the anti-film protests and the deadly attack on the ambassador -- suggesting that one had arisen spontaneously out of the other, or that the attackers may have used the protest as a diversion. More than a week passed before the Obama administration first described the attack as a "terrorist" incident.
Even so, the administration continued in briefings with reporters to indicate that there had been a separate protest going on at the time of the attack.
CBS News first reported earlier in the week that there may have not been a protest outside the consulate at all. A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.