Rogers said his committee's investigation had access to more information and he knows that al Qaeda was involved. It seemed that some of the discrepancy is over whether Ansar al-Sharia counts as connected to al Qaeda.
The moderator Chris Wallace pushed Rogers to speculate about whether the NYT was trying to help Hillary Clinton and the most he would say is that he found the timing "odd," since the Intelligence Committee has an ongoing investigation.
The Democrat Schiff backed up Rogers, saying that al Qaeda was indeed involved (as were others). He also uttered this fascinating sentence:
I think the intelligence paints a portrait that some came to murder, some people came to destroy property, some merely came to loot, and some came in part motivated by those videos.That's a list of 5 items, but the 5th item doesn't fit the rest of the list, which I think is quite meaningful. Look at how the first 4 items group people by what they did when they arrived at the scene. The fifth item tells you why one set of individuals arrived at the scene but doesn't tell you what they did. Did they just protest? If so, they didn't attack, in which case, the attackers were not motivated by the video. Schiff doesn't mention why the murderers, property destroyers, and looters — that is, the attackers — showed up. So that was a puzzling list he ticked off. I don't know if he meant to be devious and thus mute his disagreement with the NYT. A follow-up question would have helped. The next thing he said was:
So it is a complex picture. There was some planning, as Mike points out, but it was not extensive. I don't think it's either accurate to characterize this as a long-term preplanned core Al Qaeda operation or something completely unaffiliated.That last sentence is cagey. The words "long-term," "pre-planned" (as opposed to merely planned?), "core," and "completely" are all weasel words that allow him to disagree with the NYT without seeming to really disagree that seriously. As Schiff puts it, al Qaeda (but not core al Qaeda) was involved and the attack was planned (but not elaborately).
Schiff goes on to say that unlike the Intelligence Committee, the NYT didn't have access to the things that were said by participants who didn't know they were being listened to, only interviews with people who shape their story to their own interest. I was surprised that as a Democrat he went as far as he did in saying the NYT got it wrong.