September 27 -- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
"It was a terrorist attack. ... As we determined the details of what took place there and how that attack took place, it became clear that there were terrorists who had planned that attack."
September 27 -- A senior U.S. official tells CNN that it became clear within about a day of the Benghazi attack that it been the work of terrorists
Separately, CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend reports that a law enforcement source told her that "from day one, we had known clearly that this was a terrorist attack."
September 28 -- Statement by Shawn Turner, spokesman for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
"In the immediate aftermath, there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo. We provided that initial assessment to executive branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly and provide updates as they became available. Throughout our investigation, we continued to emphasize that information gathered was preliminary and evolving. As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists."
October 1 -- Nuland, in response to calls from Rep. Peter King, R-California, for Rice to resign because her remarks about the attack were, according to him, misleading
"Well, let me start by saying that Secretary Clinton believes that Ambassador Rice has done a superb job. So let's just start there, and we completely reject any such calls here in this building."
October 1 -- Nuland, responding to a question about whether officials in Libya had sought additional security for diplomatic installations and personnel there
"I think it's fair to say that we are still working through what we have in this building in terms of documentation, in terms of information about what we knew, who knew it, when they knew it, and that's part of the process that we have to go through."
October 2 -- Carney
"I can tell you that from the moment our facility was attacked in Benghazi, the president's focus has been on securing our diplomats and facilities in Libya and around the world, and on bringing the killers to justice. At every step of the way, the administration has based its public statements on the best assessments that were provided by the intelligence community. As the intelligence community learned more information, they updated Congress and the American people on it."
October 9 -- During a background briefing with reporters, a senior State Department official responding to a question about whether the attack was a spontaneous assault taking advantage of a demonstration over the movie
"That is a question that you would have to ask, have to ask others. That was not, that was not our conclusion. I'm not saying that we had a conclusion."
The background briefing contains detailed information about the attack, including how dozens of armed men stormed the complex as Stevens and two security team members took refuge in a fortified room.
"The lethality and the number of armed people is unprecedented," one official said. "There had been no attacks like that anywhere in Libya -- Tripoli, Benghazi or anywhere -- in the time that we had been there. And so it is unprecedented, in fact, it would be very, very hard to find precedent for an attack like (it) in recent diplomatic history."
October 9 -- Clapper, during a speech in Orlando
Upon returning from a trip to Australia, Clapper said, he was "reading the media clips about the hapless, hopeless, helpless, inept, incompetent DNI, because I acknowledged publicly that we didn't instantly have that 'God's eye, God's ear' certitude" about what had happened.
He later added, in answer to a question: "The challenge is always a tactical warning, the exact insights ahead of time that such an attack is going to take place, and obviously we did not have that. This gets into the mysteries versus secrets thing. If people don't behave, emit a behavior or talk or something else ahead of time to be detected, it's going to be very hard to predict an exact attack and come up with an exact attack."
October 10 -- Under Secretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy, in congressional testimony
"No one in the administration has claimed to know all the answers. We have always made clear that we are giving the best information we have at the time, and that information has evolved."
In the same hearing, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs Charlene Lamb testified that the State Department "had the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time."
October 10 -- Obama, in an ABC interview
"The information may not have always been right the first time. And as soon as it turns out that we have a fuller picture of what happened, then that was disclosed."
October 10 -- Carney, responding to questions about whether administration officials had misled the public because they did not want to acknowledge a terrorist attack
"The president of the United States referred to it as an act of terror immediately after it occurred."
"I never said we don't know if it's terrorism. There was an issue about the definition of terrorism. This is by definition an act of terror, as the president made clear."
October 11 -- Vice President Joe Biden, during his debate with GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, responding to a question about what the administration knew about security requests from Libya.
"We weren't told they wanted more security there."
October 12 -- Carney, asked to respond to Biden's comments
"The vice president was speaking about himself, and the president and the White House. He was not referring to the administration, clearly, since there was a public hearing for four and a half hours where it was discussed openly by individuals working at the State Department requests that were made."
October 15 -- Clinton, in an interview with CNN
"I take responsibility. I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision."
October 16 -- Obama, speaking to GOP challenger Mitt Romney at their second debate
"The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened; that this was an act of terror. And I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime."
"I am ultimately responsible for what's taking place there because these are my folks, and I'm the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home."
October 18 -- Obama talking to Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show"
"The government is a big operation and any given time, something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what's broken and you fix it."
"When four Americans get killed, it's not optimal. We're going to fix it. All of it."
When Stewart asked about "confusion" over the Benghazi attack, the president laid out what he learned from the situation.