Presidential races

Clinton lashes out at Republicans for seeking to ‘exploit’ Benghazi

Hillary Clinton on Monday accused Republicans of exploiting the deaths of four Americans in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack in an attempt to score political points against her.

Clinton pivoted from a question about whether she would have investigated a GOP administration to blast Republicans if Dick Cheney or Karl Rove had used a private email account. 

{mosads}“I would never have done that,” said an animated Clinton in an interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie in an interview on the “Today” show.

“Look at the situation they chose to exploit to go after me for political reasons, the death of four Americans in Benghazi. I knew the ambassador [Christopher Stevens]. I identified him. I asked him to go there. I asked the president to nominate him.

“There have been seven investigations, led mostly by Republicans in the Congress,” Clinton continued. “They were nonpartisan and they reached conclusions that, first of all, I and nobody did anything wrong, but there were changes we could make. This committee was set up, as they have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans. I would never have done that. If I were president and there were Republicans or Democrats thinking about that, I would have done everything to shut it down.”

Clinton’s comments about GOP admissions that the House Select Committee on Benghazi had a political purpose was a reference to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who last week linked the committee with her falling poll numbers in the presidential race as GOP accomplishment.

Democrats pounced on the remarks, saying Republicans had finally revealed that the panel’s true purpose is to damage Clinton politically, not investigate the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. 

Clinton will testify in front of the committee later this month, in what will be a critical moment for her presidential aspirations. 

On Monday, Clinton declined to follow the lead of some Democrats, like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who have called for the committee to be shut down in the wake of McCarthy’s remarks.

“I have to say that now that they’ve admitted it’s a political partisan committee for the sole purpose of going after me, not trying to make our diplomats who serve in dangerous areas, safer, that’s up to the Congress,” Clinton said. “If they’re going to have it still running, I’ll be there, and I’m looking forward to answering questions about real things when I’m there.”

The Benghazi Select Committee is credited with revealing that Clinton used a private email account and server while serving as secretary of State. The revelation has badly damaged Clinton, and contributed to her falling presidential polling numbers, as an increasing number of voters now say she’s not honest or trustworthy.

However, Clinton on Monday sought to diminish the panel’s findings, saying that what they revealed was not a public service because she was openly sharing critical information from her emails with State Department officials ahead of time.

“I’ve been around this political situation for a long time, but some things are just beyond the pale,” Clinton said. “I’m happy to go if it still is in operation to testify. I’m happy to turn over my emails. … But the real issue here is what happened to four brave Americans.”


Tags Hillary Clinton Kevin McCarthy

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