Reporters mock State Department spokesman over Benghazi links to al-Qaeda

Reporters on the Foggy Bottom beat had a little fun at the expense of State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke when he discussed a UN report linking Ansar al-Sharia to Al Qaeda.

Daily Caller:

RATHKE: I think the document that the U.N. Security Council has released, it does not connect — these groups are associated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, but they are not arms of the core al-Qaida if you look at the report. So certainly we take these groups seriously, and that’s why we acted eleven months ago to designate them …

REPORTER No. 1: So they’re like a second-degree al-Qaida?

RATHKE: They are…

REPORTER No. 1: They’re the JV team?

RATHKE: They’ve been associated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb …

REPORTER No. 1: Which in itself is associated with al-Qaida core.

RATHKE: It’s an affiliate. But we don’t see them as being subordinate to or a subsidiary of AQIM.

REPORTER No. 2: Like at McDonald’s?

RATHKE: I don’t think I can put it in those terms.

If Rathke admitted that AQ in the Islamic Maghreb was al-Qaeda, it would contradict the narrative that al-Qaeda is "decimated" - something the administration still insists on believing. The reporters know this which is why they mocked Rathke unmercifully.

Reporters on the Foggy Bottom beat had a little fun at the expense of State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke when he discussed a UN report linking Ansar al-Sharia to Al Qaeda.

Daily Caller:

RATHKE: I think the document that the U.N. Security Council has released, it does not connect — these groups are associated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, but they are not arms of the core al-Qaida if you look at the report. So certainly we take these groups seriously, and that’s why we acted eleven months ago to designate them …

REPORTER No. 1: So they’re like a second-degree al-Qaida?

RATHKE: They are…

REPORTER No. 1: They’re the JV team?

RATHKE: They’ve been associated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb …

REPORTER No. 1: Which in itself is associated with al-Qaida core.

RATHKE: It’s an affiliate. But we don’t see them as being subordinate to or a subsidiary of AQIM.

REPORTER No. 2: Like at McDonald’s?

RATHKE: I don’t think I can put it in those terms.

If Rathke admitted that AQ in the Islamic Maghreb was al-Qaeda, it would contradict the narrative that al-Qaeda is "decimated" - something the administration still insists on believing. The reporters know this which is why they mocked Rathke unmercifully.