A leading House Republican criticized the Obama administration Sunday for running ads in Pakistan denouncing the anti-Islamic film that allegedly sparked violent and deadly protests across the Middle East and North Africa, calling the roughly $70,000 project a “horrible idea.”
“I think it was a horrible idea,” said Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “It gave credibility and it gave a permission slip to Al Qaeda, to Pakistani officials.”
The ad features President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denouncing the 14-minute Internet film trailer “The Innocence of Muslims,” purportedly by South California filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
The State Department reportedly paid seven Pakistani stations to run the ad.
“I don’t know who gave them the advice,” Rogers said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It was horrible advice. It has exacerbated the situation.”
The administration has said the attacks that began Sept. 11 and spread to more than 20 countries were in response to the film and not directed at the U.S. government.