And despite her central role as secretary of State during the Benghazi attack, Americans still strongly approve of how Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump lashes out at 'rigged' Russia probe in pair of tweets Clapper: 'More and more' of Steele dossier proving to be true Republicans are strongly positioned to win Congress in November MORE handled her tenure in Foggy Bottom. Of those surveyed, 62 percent approve of Clinton's handling of her job, while 28 percent disapprove. 

By contrast, 51 percent approve of President Obama's handling of his job, while 44 percent disapprove.

Last week, the White House released emails it says validate the contention that the talking points used by administration officials after the attack — which suggested the violence grew out of a spontaneous protest, rather than deliberate terrorist plotting — had been driven entirely by the CIA.

But the emails also revealed that talking points underwent extensive edits before they were released, and that the State Department repeatedly expressed concern over initial drafts. The emails also show that then-CIA Director David Petraeus had advocated for fuller disclosure in the initial talking points.

But the White House argues the questions over the internal deliberations are ultimately irrelevant, because members of the Obama administration within days disclosed that their assessment had changed and they believed the attack was terrorism.

Obama argued at a press conference that the debate was a "sideshow" because his administration stated shortly thereafter that the Benghazi attack was an act of terror. He also accused Republicans of pursuing their inquiries for political gains.

"Who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down for three days?" Obama said. "So the whole thing defies logic. And the fact that this keeps on getting churned out, frankly, has a lot to do with political motivations. We've had folks who have challenged Hillary Clinton’s integrity, Susan Rice’s integrity, Mike Mullen and Tom Pickering’s integrity. It’s a given that mine gets challenged by these same folks. They’ve used it for fundraising."