Emails obtained through a federal lawsuit show that two top aides to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were running interference internally during the 2012 Benghazi terror attack.
The aides were Philippe Reines, widely described as Clinton’s principal gate-keeper, and Cheryl Mills, who has been at Clinton’s side for decades.
The emails show that while receiving updates about the assault as it happened, Mills told then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland to stop answering reporter questions about the status of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was missing and later found dead.
Also littered throughout the State Department emails, obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, are references to a so-called Benghazi Group. A diplomatic source told Fox News that was code inside the department for the so-called Cheryl Mills task force, whose job was damage control.
The effort to stop Nuland from answering reporter questions also may have contributed to confusion over the nature of the attack. Clinton that night had put out the first statement wrongly linking the attack to a supposed protest sparked by an obscure, anti-Islam YouTube video – but that was never updated that night.
“Cheryl Mills was instrumental in making sure the big lie was put out there,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.
Judicial Watch obtained the State Department emails through legal action. “What’s notable thus far is we received no emails from or to [Hillary Clinton],” he said. “You have to wonder whether these aides went offline and were using secret accounts to communicate with her about Benghazi attack.”
Read more: Fox News