Fox Goes To Bat For 60 Minutes Benghazi "Witness" Who Admitted He Lied
Blog ››› ››› HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY
Fox News attempted to rehabilitate the reputation of an alleged Benghazi "witness" who appeared in a discredited CBS report about the 2012 attack, after the same "witness" admitted he falsified statements about where he was that night.
On October 27, CBS' 60 Minutes featured testimony from "Morgan Jones," a supposed "witness" of the September 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities who claimed that during the attack he scaled a wall of the compound and personally struck a terrorist in the face with his rifle. This story wildly diverged from the account he gave his superiors in an incident report that was obtained by The Washington Post, which stated he "could not get anywhere near" the compound the night of the attack. The Post also identified Jones' real name as Dylan Davies.
On the November 4 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade dismissed the inconsistencies in Davies' accounts, instead suggesting that the State Department or the White House had leaked the report to the Post to "discredit a seemingly very credible witness about those attacks, who witnessed those attacks." During the segment, guest Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) baselessly called Davies a "covert agent" -- though he worked for private security contractor Blue Mountain, not the CIA -- and Chaffetz and Kilmeade both attacked the Post for publishing Davies' name, suggesting the article had endangered his life by revealing his identity.
But Davies' account is not just inconsistent - he also admitted to The Daily Beast on November 2 that he had lied about his actions during the night of the Benghazi attack to his supervisors. He explained his differing accounts of the night of the attack by claiming that he did not personally write the Blue Mountain incident report and admitting he had lied in his account to the company because "he did not want his supervisor to know he had disobeyed his orders":
Davies said the version of the events contained in the incident report matched what he told his supervisor, called "Robert" in his book, who is a top Blue Mountain Group executive. Davies said he lied to Robert about his actions that night because he did not want his supervisor to know he had disobeyed his orders to stay at his villa.
The Daily Beast has redacted the true name of Robert out of his concern for his privacy.
"He told me under no circumstances was I to go up there. I respected him so much I did not want him to know that I had not listened to him," said Davies, referring to Robert. "I have not seen him since."
Davies also wrote in his book that Robert had instructed him not to go to the compound under any circumstances. Davies called Robert after going to the hospital, he said, but before his first visit to the compound on the night of Sept. 11. Davies says he told Robert the ambassador was dead but did not tell him what he was up to.
Executives at Blue Mountain Group, including Robert, did not respond to emails requesting comment.
Kilmeade also used the segment to rehash a number of debunked Benghazi myths, such as the false claims that the administration delayed labeling the Benghazi attack an act of terror and that a "stand down" order was given the night of the attack, continuing the network's desperate attempt to find a Benghazi "scandal" more than a year after the attack.
For more on conservative media myths about the September 2012 attack, read The Benghazi Hoax, the new e-book by Media Matters' David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt.