A "sideshow." That's how President Barack Obama is describing the Republican focus on the talking points that were used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in the days after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya last year.

President Barack Obama (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Those talking points have come under fire after Rice described the attack as stemming from protests of an anti-Islamic video.

Obama told reporters today that within days after Rice's appearance, an administration official said extremists inside Libya carried out the attack. Obama asks, "Who executes some kind of cover up for three days?"

He was asked about recent disclosures that talking points on the attack produced by the intelligence community were later watered down to delete references to suspected ties between last September's assault and Islamic militants.

Obama said it was not clear in the aftermath of the attack who was responsible and what their motives were.

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