Paul: Email tried to paint attack as 'not terrorism'

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Thursday night a newly revealed administration email reads like something from a "Hollywood producer" attempting to pitch content in the wake of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Paul said it is important to focus on the general tenor of the email from deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes to Susan Rice, ahead of her appearance on a number of news shows after the attack.

"It's more than just each individual word being parsed," he said on Fox News. "It's about the tenor and tone of the email that says, 'We need to blame it on the video. We need to do this.' It was about — really, if you read that email, it's like what a Hollywood producer would do in saying, what do you want the general feeling to be from this, and the feeling needs to be that this is not terrorism."

Paul said he agreed with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who renewed his call to form a Senate select committee to investigate the events surrounding the deadly attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, after the new documents were made public.

One of the goals outlined by Rhodes in the email was "to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video and not a broader failure of policy."

The White House has said the email was not specifically about the attack in Benghazi but was instead about broader protests taking place in the region over a controversial anti-Islam video.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday the new email "doesn't change the fundamental facts about the so-called talking points,” which the CIA drafted and have previously been made public. The White House initially said the attack was spontaneous and grew out of other protests in the region over the video. Later, the administration said the attack had been preplanned and orchestrated.