WASHINGTON–Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) clashed during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday, one of the most heated exchanges in the inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya where four U.S. diplomats were killled.
Johnson was pressing Clinton over UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who went on Sunday talk shows after the attacks and said the attacks were conducted by protestors, not terrorists when she told him, “what difference at this point does it make?”
Below, what they said:
Johnson : No, again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that – an assault sprang out of that – and that was easily ascertained that was not the fact, and the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that.
Clinton : With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again Senator. Now honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process I understand going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear it is from my perspective less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on the meantime.