(Newsroom America) -- Libyan President Mohammed Magarief said Tuesday in an interview that an anti-Muslim film trailer posted online in the U.S. in July had "nothing to do" with a deadly attack on the American embassy in Benghazi earlier this month.
Magarief, in an interview with NBC News, appeared to counter President Obama's claim during a speech at the UN earlier in the day that the film sparked the attack, in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other personnel were killed.
Rather, Magarief said, the attack had been planned to coincide with the Sept. 11 anniversary, and that the film trailer produced in California months ago had no influence.
"Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September," he said. "They chose this date, 11th of September, to carry a certain message."
Magarief said there were no protesters at the embassy prior to the attack, which he said came in two waves - first with rocket-propelled grenades at the consulate, followed by a mortar attack on the safe house, a fall-back position for embassy personnel that was supposed to have been kept secret.
"It's a pre-planned act of terrorism," he said, adding that the anti-Muslim film had "nothing to do with this attack."
He went onto say that although it appeared as if Libyans carried out the attack, "these Libyans do not represent the Libyan people or Libyan population in any sense of the word."
"We consider the United States as a friend, not only a friend, a strong friend, who stood with us in our moment of need," he added.
From the outset, the Obama administration has said the attacks were linked to the film, though White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week it was "self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack."
Obama strayed from that narrative once again yesterday at the UN, when he blamed the attacks on what he called a "disgusting" film.
"I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity," Obama said, adding: "It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion."
Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney said the administration's mixed messages were a result of the president's attempt to cover up the details surrounding the attack.
"I think they want to do their very best to keep the people of America from understanding exactly what happened. We expect candor, we expect transparency, particularly, as it relates to terrorism," Romney said Tuesday during an interview on Fox News.
"Why is he (Obama) not on the same page with his own administration officials who are saying that this is a terrorist attack? We'll leave it up to you to decide whether it's a coverup or not," he said.
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