White House blasts Republicans over House Benghazi panel report

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responds forcefully to intense questioning on the September attacks on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, United States January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday blasted Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives for using a panel to investigate the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, as a tool to attack Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“This is a political exercise,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a daily briefing after Republicans released their report.

Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe and Mohammad Zargham; Writing by Susan Heavey