Emanuel calls Issa release of Libya documents ‘reckless’

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday called House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) "reckless," saying his release of diplomatic cables from the U.S. embassy in Libya put locals aiding the U.S. at risk.

“What Darrell Issa did by releasing names in that entire document of individuals who are working with America, put people at risk in Libya,” said Emanuel, a former White House Chief of Staff and prominent surrogate for the Obama campaign, on ABC’s “This Week.”

"That office, that chairmanship of that committee comes with responsibility. And you can't act reckless with it," he added.

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Issa released the documents on Friday, the latest salvo in the fight between Republicans and the Obama administration over the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 that took four American lives. 

In a pointed letter to the administration, the Oversight chairman questioned if the White House had downgraded security precautions in the country in the run-up to the attack and called for more details on the administration response to the violence.

Issa shared diplomatic cables which he said showed demands from Americans stationed in Libya for more security.

Democrats, though, led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (Mass.), were quick to blast Issa, claiming the documents contained the names of Libyan nationals who worked with the United States, something they say endangers those individuals and may deter anyone who may be willing to work with the country in the future.

"People around the world will now know that you're at risk if you cooperate with the United States," Emanuel said.

On Sunday, Emanuel cautioned that lawmakers should allow the administration to investigate the attack on the consulate.

"I have been fortunate in my life to work on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue," Emanuel said on Sunday. "And the president of the United States has ordered an investigation of what happened, who's responsible, and bring them to justice… That's what you have to do in the Oval Office."

In his letter to Obama on Friday, Issa wrote that “Americans … deserve a complete explanation about your administration's decision to accelerate a normalized presence in Libya at what now appears to be at the cost of endangering lives.” 

Romney and his allies have blasted the Obama administration for initially blaming the Libya attack on a video about Islam, saying it was obvious from the get-go that terrorists had targeted the U.S. on the anniversary of 9/11.

The White House has said it reported what they were told from the intelligence community and that a clearer picture of the attack developed after more information was gathered.

Emanuel asserted that the incident would be "handled," but continued to accuse Republicans of politicizing the deadly attack.

"[The] people that did this will be brought to justice. And how it happened will be investigated so we can never see it again. But the idea that people from A, day one, have been trying to politicize this event, in my view, is absolutely reckless," he said. 

Julian Pecquet and Jordy Yager contributed to this report.