Just outside the Oval Office is a room called the Outer Oval, where the president’s secretary and personal aide sit and through which all visitors coming to see the president pass. Staff members in the Outer Oval keep track of the president’s location at all times. They carefully record the names of all individuals who walk into the Oval Office — when they entered, how long they stayed, what the topic of discussion was. They keep a record of all calls made and received by the president, including the topic, participants and duration. They even record the president’s bathroom breaks (they write “evacuating” into the log).
This and other data on the presidents’ whereabouts are collected by a career National Archives employee whose title is White House diarist. This individual preserves them as a minute-by-minute historical record of the presidency for future use by presidential scholars.
What this means is that there exists a minute-by-minute record of where the president was and what he was doing for all eight hours of the Benghazi attack.
So how is it that the White House has failed to give a full account of the president’s whereabouts during that eight-hour period? The White House knows precisely where he was and what he was doing, yet it is refusing to share that information with Congress and the American people. This is unacceptable. Imagine if 20 months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the George W. Bush White House had still refused to account for where the president was or what he was doing that day. There would be outrage and constant demands from the press, Congress and other investigators demanding to know the answer to a simple factual question: Where was the president?