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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  October 22, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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types of bombings are happening and these security incidents are happening, there are hundreds more actually i could talk with you about. frankly i don't have time. i hope i've painted the picture. i'm baffled. you sent chris stevens to lifb ye libya and benghazi. granted he never raised the flag and said i want out, and granted, he never said shut down benghazi. i understand and appreciate that you deferred to him. you also, madam secretary, we have no record of you ever talking to him, that you never talked to him personally after may of 2012 when you swore him in as our ambassador. am i wrong? did you ever talk to ambassador stevens when all of this was going on in the hot bed of libya? that is a yes or no question, madam secretary. i'm sorry. did you ever personally speak to
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ambassador stevens -- we don't know the answer. did you ever personally speak to him after you swore him in in may? yes or no, please. >> yes, i believe i did. >> when was that? >> i don't recall, and i want to clarify for the record that this document is about all of libya, not just benghazi. i don't want anybody -- >> absolutely, 77 are about benghazi. >> congresswoman, look, i appreciate, and i really do, the passion and the intensity of your feelings about this. we have diplomatic facilities in war zones. we have ambassadors that we send to places that have been bombed and attacked all the time. >> and you're their boss, is that right? >> you're right i am. >> you're their leader, is that correct? are there ever situations where you call them in, where you bring them in, where you are personally caring an concerned
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and are letting them know that? are there sixes that you recall -- i'd like to know what the conversation was with ambassador stephens, what month it was with ambassador stevens. there are no call logs from him, nothing from the op center that we found. we have no record that you had any conversations with the ambassador after you swore him in and before he died. you were his boss. >> i was the boss of ambassadors in 270 countries. i was the boss of ambassadors in places like afghanistan where shortly before i visited one time the embassy had been under brutal assaulted by the taliban for hours. i am very well aware of the dangers that are faced by our diplomats and our development professionals. there was never a recommendation from chris stevens or anyone
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else to close benghazi. now, sitting here in the comfort of this large beautiful hearing room, it's easy to say, well, there should have been, somebody should have stood up and said do that, but that was not the case. and it is a very difficult choice with respect to any of these facilities given the level of threat and instability that we confront around the world today. it's deeply, deeply distressing when any of our facilities or our personnel are in danger. and we do and have done the best we can, and i think we can do better which is why i implemented all of the arbs recommendations which we have barely talked about. those were essential in trying to improve and bitter position
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and prepare and respond, and that's what we tried to do. i find it deeply saddening because, obviously, everyone -- everyone who knew him, everyone who worked with him including libyans, as i said at the very beginning, would have given anything to prevent this from happening. our security professionals usually -- in fact, more than 99-plus percent of the time get it right. >> madam secretary, if we would have given anything, had you talked to him in july, he would have told you that he had asked to keep the security in libya that he was had. he was told no by your state department. we didn't give everything. thank you. i yield back. >> gentle lady is out of time. the secretary may answer. >> chris stephens had an
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opportunity to reach me any time he thought there was something of importance. the people with whom he worked, the people who were around him and with him, they very well understood the dangers that they were confronting. and they did the best they could under the circumstances, and many of the security requests, as i just detailed, were agreed to. others weren't. >> gentle lady from california is recognized. >> thank you. madam secretary, i want to begin by thanking you for your patience and endurance during today's hearing. it's been quite a long day. i also want to begin by apologizing for my republican colleagues who apparently either want to write your answers for you or testify for you because i think it fits in better with their outlandish narratives of what happened. since they insist on criticizing you for not doing anything right, i want to talk to you
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little more about a round of questions in the first round. i asked about what you were doing on the night of the attacks in benghazi. i want to continue that a little more. you said previously you had spoken with the white house that evening, with the cia, the defense department and the state department. you also spoke directly with people on the ground at the embassy in tripoli that night at around 7:00 p.m., and ki tell from the documents that we've seen that you asked to speak tripoli.puty chief of mission in can you explain the purpose of that call and why you felt that was important? >> well, for a number of reasons. they were a source of information. they had their own sources on the ground that they were reaching out to trying to gather additional insight into what happened, what provoked it, who was behind it. but much more importantly even than that, they were in a great state of dismay and grief, and i
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thought it was important to speak with our team in tripoli directly so they knew we were trying as best we could from so far away to help them and to help their colleagues. we also had pushed to have an additional team of security officers fly from tripoli and really the embassy in tripoli just took that on. they, in fact, probably came up with the idea and put it together and got the plane and sent more help on the way to benghazi. but it was a very personal conversation between me and those who were in our embassy. this is a place that i had spent a lot of time and paid a lot of attention to. as i said earlier, we had to evacuate the embassy before,
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while gadhafi was still in power. i talked with those people in our embassy family as they were or the ferry going from tripoli back to malta. so we tried to engage with, listen to and support our teams when they were facing these very difficult circumstances. >> this committee has interviewed your staff that was with you that evening of the attacks, chief of staff cheryl mills and deputy chief of staff jake sullivan. they explained you personally participated in a teleconference with senior members of the intelligence committee, white house and department of defense. your chief of staff, cheryl mills, said your attendance at the deputy's level meeting broke with protocol and surprised other attendees, but you simply said, quote, these are our people on the ground. where else would i be? why did you think it was important for you to participate personally in that deputy's committee meeting?
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>> the people who were there were part of the operational decision making, and i wanted to know firsthand from them what they were trying to do to help us, particularly dod, also the intelligence community because at that time, as i recall, the cia annex had not yet come under attack, and we were trying to get all americans out of benghazi. we were trying to provide planes for evacuation. so there was a lot of detail that was being worked out, and i wanted to be as hands on as i could be to know, number one, what all the other agencies were doing to help us and what we could do to try to assist them in their efforts to get to benghazi and do whatever was possible. >> were the participants
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surprised by your visit? >> apparently they were, because they weren't expecting me to walk into the room and sit down at the table. >> do you think that your appearance on that teleconference conveyed to them how seriously you were taking the attacks and the response to the attacks? >> i'm sure it did, congresswoman. we had been sounding the alarm and reaching out for several hours by then. we were getting a very positive response from everyone. >> by the defense department? >> yes, the defense department, the cia, obviously the white house was deeply involved in reaching out and coordinating with us. so we knew people were trying to help. there was never, ever any doubt about that. i just wanted to hear firsthand about their assessments of what they could do. could anybody get there in time? how were we going to evacuate
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the americans? and we were also still unsure of where our ambassador was, which made all of this in incredibly difficult for everybody in the state department. we didn't know where he was. we didn't know whether he was alive. it was shortly after that in the evening that we found out he was not. >> your chief of staff also explained to the committee that you were concerned not only for the safety of your teams in benghazi but your teams in tripoli and elsewhere. she said this about you, quote, she was very concerned and also very determined that whatever needed to be done was done, and she was worried, not only about our team on the ground in benghazi, but worried about our teams on the ground in libya and our teams on the ground in a number of places given what we had seen unfold in egypt. can you explain some of the context of the evening and why you were concerned not just about what was happening in
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benghazi but the risks that americans were at elsewhere? >> well, that's exactly right. i was quite concerned about tripoli because we didn't know if there would be coordinated attacks. we were still trying to gather information about who was behind what happened in benghazi. we, in the course of the conversations with our team on the ground in tripoli, began to explore whether they should move from where they were in the place that was operating as our embassy at that time to a more secure location. there were lots of considerations about what to do to keep our team in tripoli safe. and then as i testified earlier, we were very concerned about the impact of the video sparking unrest, attacks, violence in a wide swath of countries. it turned out that that was well-founded concern, as we saw the attacks and protests across
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the region all the way to india and indonesia. so there was a lot of effort being put into not only doing the immediate tasks before us in benghazi and doing whatever we needed to do to keep our people in tripoli safe, but beginning to talk through and prepare for what might happen elsewhere. >> i want to switch line of questioning for just a second. i've got a couple minutes left. following the attacks on benghazi but before the accountability review board completed its work, you did a number of things to evaluate and improve security at overseas posts. this is even before the arb had finished its investigation and issued its finding and recommendations. i know you mentioned them multiple times today, but some of my colleagues appear to have amnesia about what you really accomplished. so can you tell me about some of the steps that you took to
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implement in the state department even before the arb completed its work? >> well, although the arb had not completed its own investigation, clearly in the aftermath of benghazi we were doing our own evaluation of what had happened, what we knew about the circumstances and what we needed to do to try to get ahead of any other potential problems. one of the decisions that i made and discussed with general dempsey and secretary panetta was how we could get more assistance from the department of defense, and in particular, we sent out teams to the high threat posts that we had to get evaluations from those on the ground so that we would have a better idea of where there might be necessary upgrades to security, that we could
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immediately try to act upon. so we did begin a conversation with the department of defense which i think it's fair to say, and as admiral mullen himself testified, see it is scope of the american diplomatic presence as beyond the capacity of the defense department to be responsive to. we had to begin to, first, look at the high threat posts and take the second layer about those we think could become more dangerous going forward and really begin this process which, as i told congresswoman duckworth, i'm confident is still continuing. we can't get behind the curve in being able to predict where there might be problems in the future. we had a perfect example of that in yemen. we kept the embassy open in sun
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nah under very dangerous circumstances for a very long time. we even moved it fit cliz to a more well well defensed position. thankfully we have not had incidents resulting in american diplomats being killed, but it was a constant challenge to us. there are many other examples like the one that congressman smith has raised twice, peshawar which is a very dangerous, high threat post. what we tried to do was try to close as best we could the relationship between state and dod. so wherever dod could help us, they would be prepared to factor that into our planning, and i was very grateful for their responsiveness. >> we're grateful for yours. thank you very much. i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentle lady from alabama, ms.
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roby. >> i want to follow up on the questions on the night of the attack and the decisions made. you wrote in your book "hard choices" that you were directing the state department response the night of september 11th, 2012. but you also stated that you left your office on the night of the attacks and went to your home in northwest washington because you said you knew the next few days were going to be taxing, and the department was going to be looking to you. i want to talk about a few things. do you have a skiff in your home? >> yes, i did. >> who else was at your home? were you alone? >> i was alone, yes. >> the whole night? >> yes, the whole night. [ laughter ]. >> i don't know why that's funny. did you have any in-person briefings? i don't ha find it funny at all. >> a little levity at 7:15. >> the reason is it went well
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into the night when our folks in the ground were still in danger. i don't think it's funny to ask you -- >> congresswoman, you asked if i had a skiff. i had secure phone, other equipment that kept me in touch with the state department at all times. i did not sleep all night. i was very much focused on what we were doing. >> who was at your office when you left? was cheryl mills, your chief of staff, still at the office when you left? >> i don't remember. i know a lot of my staff -- >> i'll name them and see if your remember. jake sullivan. >> yes, they were all there when i left. >> victoria nuland was there. >> when i left everyone was there. >> malik manas was there? >> i can give you a blanket answer. when i left -- >> i'm going to ask specifics. was patrick kennedy there? >> i'm sure he was. >> was phillip ranus there? >> i don't know.
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>> what about stephen mall? >> i'm sure the core team at the state department was still there. >> beth jones? >> i'm sure she was. >> bill burns and thomas nines? >> i have no specific recollection of any of the names you've given me, because when i left i knew i would stay in touch, and i do not know how long anybody else stayed at the state department. >> what time did you learn that sean smith had died? >> that was earlier in the evening. >> that was before you left? >> yes. >> what about ambassador stevens? >> it was before i left. >> what about his confirmation of his death? before or after you left? >> we knew that, yes. >> what about the recovery of his body, was that before or after you left? >> we got word that we had a
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sighting of -- >> confirmation. >> well, i'm trying to tell you what we knew and how we found out because it was something we were trying to determine, and we had mixed signals about what we learned. it was our understanding, and certainly by the time i left, that he was most likely not alive. but i'm not sure exactly when we were able to confirm that because it depended upon getting firsthand information from a libyan contact. >> where were you when you learned of the second attack? >> i was at home. >> did you go back to the state department when you learned about the second attack or did you stay home? >> i stayed home. went to the state department early in the morning. the cia annex attack, as i
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recall, was late in the evening, early the next morning, by our time around 5:00 a.m. or so in benghazi. >> did you meet with the president that night? >> i talked with the president. i did not meet with him. >> how many times did you talk with the president? >> i talked to the president that evening. that was the only time i talked with him on the 11th. then i went over to the white house the next morning. >> so once. do you recall what time you spoke to the president? you said that evening. do you recall more specifically what time? >> i think it was late in the evening. i don't know exactly when. >> what did you discuss? >> i'm sorry. what? >> what specifically did you discuss with the president? >> well, i don't usually talk about my discussions with the president, but i can tell you we talked about what happened during the day. i thanked him for his very strong support because he made it absolutely clear that everyone was supposed to be doing all they could, particularly dod, to assist us
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wherever possible, and i'm sure i thanked him for that. >> what did he say to you? >> again, i don't talk about the conversations i have with the president. we talked about the events of the day and his determination to do everything he could to try to help our people in benghazi. >> did you meet with secretary panetta? >> no, did not. >> did you speak to secretary panetta? >> the next day. >> not on the 11th? >> no. >> did you talk with general dempsey? >> the next morning i did. >> you did not meet with him or talk with limb on the 11th? >> congresswoman, it wasn't necessary. everyone was doing everything they could think of to do. >> i'm just trying to figure out if you did or didn't. >> i sat in on the sive vits that congresswoman sanchez was asking me about because i wanted to talk to the operational people and they were represented there. they were the ones carrying out the orders that they received
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from the president on down. >> what about petraeus, when did you speak to him? >> i spoke to petraeus that afternoon because i knew we had an agreement with the cia annex, and i spoke with him about an hour after finding out about the attack and after gathering information about what we thought was happening in benghazi. >> did you -- your surviving agents were evacuated to tripoli the morning of the 12th. did you talk to the survivors either that night or once they arrived in tripoli? >> we did not speak to them directly. we obviously made arrangements for them to be safely evacuated and then to be transported to a hospital facility that we thought was safe from any potential attacks. >> did you talk to him the next day? >> no. >> did you talk to them later that week? >> no, did not. >> did you talk to them when
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they first got back to the united states? >> i did not talk to them until they had had an opportunity to be debriefed and to provide information that would help us understand what happened, help the intelligence community and help the fbi as they were trying to build their case. >> how would it have harmed the case that they were trying to build for you, secretary of state, just to check in on their well-being? >> i did check on their well-being. >> personally. >> well, i did personally talk with the people who were talking care of them, transporting them. >> them, the survivors, when did you talk to the survivors? zbli talked to tsurvivors when they came back to the united states, one that was in walter reed for many months of the telephone. >> you and dempsey, you stated they were the decision makers but you never spoke with them while your people were on the
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ground? >> i'm sorry? >> i want to make sure this is clear. panetta and dempsey were the decision makers when it came to response. we've already talked about the faft so i'm not going to get into that. what i'm trying to clarify is they were the decision makers, your people were on the ground in harm's way and you never had a conversation with them. >> i did not need to. during the turmoil of that afternoon and into the evening we knew the president had personally told them both in the oval office that he expected them to do everything they possibly could do, and i knew that they would then turn to those officers responsible for carrying out that order. they were represented on that sive vits. that's why i sat in it. remember, too, congresswoman, we had a lot of other threats coming in. we were still worried about cairo. >> i understand, but you had your people on the ground that
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were being attacked. i want to get back to the survivors in the little time i have left. did you talk to the survivors directly at all? >> yes, i did. >> at any point? can you tell us when? >> it was kind of a rolling series of conversations when they came back to the state department. i met with and talked with them. as you know, their names have never been made public. i don't intend to today. >> can you give me a month? >> i'm sorry? >> a month. >> for some of them it was less time than that. for one of them, i did not -- i talked with him on the phone. i did not get to physically see him until he had been released from the hospital. that was early in 2013. >> i think, mr. chairman, there's two messages here. i think the first message is that -- is the message that you
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sent to your personnel the night of the attack, that you went home, they all stayed there and you didn't go back until the next morning. i think the second message that is sent is that you used the fbi's inquiry as an excuse not to check in with your agents who were on the ground who survived that horrible night just to ask them how they were. i yield back. >> well, if i could respond, congresswoman. i think that, again, is part of a theory nah you and your colleagues are attempting to weave. it was made very clear that the fbi wanted a fresh and clean opportunity to speak with the survivors which i totally understand. in fact, their investigation has led to the charges of at least one person, and i hope we find all of them and bring them to justice. >> gentle lady yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i want to start by pointing out that secretary clinton has testified here for longer than she did in the previous two testimonies on this subject combined. we've been here now for 9 1/2 hours. the questions are increasingly badgering, i would say increasingly vicious. we're hoping to elicit information that would help us to learn what happened and learn how to prevent future attacks. it seems to me that what the majority is doing is they simply wish to wear you down and hopefully to get you to say something they can later use. i don't see the utility of that. when the chairman returns, i'd be curious as to, if we plan on going all night to continue to badger the witness or if there is, in fact, an end point to this. i don't think it's fair to the witness to have to sit there for that long and go over intimate
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details. we learned whether or not you had a fax machine. i guess that was useful. did you talk to this person? did you talk to that person? was this person there? was that person there? let me just say i'm very impressed by the number of answers you have and the memory you have of all the details of this event. i hope we'll consider how much longer we'll continue to do this. as to the last line of questioning, to imply that you didn't care about your personnel, how many countries, how many different embassies, different consulates did you visit during your time as secretary of state? roughly? i know you don't know that off the top of your head. at least 112. i think at times i visited the embassy itself plus the consulate of a country i was in. >> can you give us a flavor -- you went at one point to the
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eastern republic democratic of the congo, can you give us a flavor for some of the places you visited your personnel? >> congressman, i did go to the democratic republic of congo. i went to eastern congo because of the horrific violence there and the particularly unstable situation in that region. i obviously went to yemen, and i have made many trips to afghanistan and pakistan and had the opportunity to visit our diplomats and our development experts in dangerous places. one of the places that is particularly hard now is iraq, and it was hard then. egypt, during the revolution,
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was very challenging. and there i came under giant protests against the united states, against me personally. on a visit to the consulate in alexandria, my team was pelted with tomatoes and shoes and other insults hurled at us which put a lot of pressure on the diplomatic security. i obviously went to tunis and worked hard to help support tunisia and they, as of now, seem as though they're working toward some kind of resolution. i visited beirut. i was in jordan and in turkey numerous times kuduring the up viezing against syria. think i it's a long list and by no means a complete one. >> let me just say that the line
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of questioning recently has been basically implying that you don't care. there's no other way to interpret what we just heard, is to say you didn't make this phone call. what month, what day, what time? did you really care? did you visit them three times or just two? the line of questioning is implying that you don't care. there are two things that are troubling about that. first of all, you do or you wouldn't be doing this, or you wouldn't be representing the people that you do and doing the jobs that you did. second of all, whether or not you care has nothing to do with learning what happened in benghazi and how to solve the problem. so all the while -- an i was chastised last time for claiming that the majority was trying to be partisan. then we got a recitation of your political back and forth about how to talk about who should get credit for libya, being
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chastised for that. but it is clear that they are trying to attack you personally. and i really wish that we could focus on the issues instead of that. to get into that level of questioning i think is not helpful to this committee, not even helpful to the republicans for that matter. it's clear that you care. i'll simply go back to where we've been a couple of times. tell us again, how many embassies do we have in the world? >> 270 countries we're represented in. >> on some level secretary of state, secretary kerry now, you before, is responsible for all of them. >> that's right. >> how many personnel? >> 70,000 between the state department and usaid. >> you're responsible for all of them as well. >> that's right, congressman. >> can any human being on the face of the planet protect every single one of them every second
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of every day? that's a rhetorical question. >> well, we can try. congressman, we have, as i just said, 270 consulates and embassies. we are represented in the 194 countries. some of them are very friendly to us. some of them are adversaries. i want to pick up on the point you're making because i really appreciate it very much, congressman. i carry very deeply about the people who serve our country. i worked with them. i knew them. i saw them in action. on my last full day as secretary of state, we were able to hold a ceremony awarding the five diplomatic security agents the highest award for heroism the state department has to aufrmt we held it then because we wanted to be sure that the fifth man could be there because he had been in the hospital for so
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long. and he was able to be there. i got a chance to meet their family families. i got a clans all at once, not just individually but altogether, to thank them and commend them for their heroism. i'll tell you, the agent who had been in the hospital all those mont months, as i was leaving, he called me over. he said, secretary, please do everything you can to make sure i get to go back in the field, and i told him i would. it was one of the requests i made going out the door. he was determined to go back to do what he could to protect our
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diploma diplomats, to protect you when you travel. i was so struck then as i had been so many times before about the quality and the integrity and the courage of those americans who serve us, whether in uniform or out. i care very deeply about each and every one of them. >> thank you. if you had one other point to make, do you happen to know where the cia director, general petraeus was when the second attack happened on the cia, where he went? >> no, i do not. i don't know where he was when i reached him and spoke with him. >> he was home, operating out of a skiff. after the attack he continued to operate out of the skiff which is again why this would be a far more productive investigation if we had the cia and director of
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dod instead of trying to pick apart every single solitary thing you did during the course of this, sometimes even going before and after that, if we were actually were trying to get to the truth of this, we would have a broader array of people to talk to so we could get there, instead of picking you apart at every, ef every conceivable turn. we've gone back and forth. i want to make one other point. i like you, i have a great deal of respect for you. but this going back twice now, that some have implied this was because of a video. somehow you substitute the word some for i and think there's no difference whatsoever in that sentence. to badger over and over again. why did you say it was because of the video. well, i didn't. why did you say it was because of the video? well, i didn't. i guess this can go on for another six or seven hours.
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i think we all understand the english language. when you say some have implied, that means -- that means that some have implied. some others have implied. iet es just very frustrated. i serve on the armed services committee with matt thornburg on the armed services committee, and we disagree about a heck of a lot. we have great arguments in that committee. it never, ever comes close to descending to this level. matt thornberry's leadership now and all the members of that committee, they aggressively question administrative witnesses. and i've seen it. we've gone back and forth and done it. there was always an element of respect for the fact that we're all doing a very difficult job. and anyone across this die dye
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yas who has been in a tough campaign have every single thing you say, every single thing you say, every look that is on your face, everything that you wear picked apart. it's not helpful, not helpful to the american public and not helpful to the political process and damn sure not helpful to the people who died in benghazi or their families. i hope we can do better. i hope we can be done with the repetitive badgering after 9 1/2 hours. i thank you for putting up with it for that long and for your service: >> the gentleman yields back. the chairman recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. >> secretary clinton, to get to the truth about benghazi we need the complete record. your ex-mails are part of the record. we believe the record might be incomplete, in part because your version of events surrounding your e-mail situation keeps changing. last month on september 20th you said, quote, i'm being as transparent as possible, more
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transparent than anybody else ever has been. you didn't say more transparent than anybody. you said more transparent than anybody else ever. now, my definition of transparency includes being honest and straightforward, and being honest and transparent right from the start, right from the get-go. let's look at a few things you said. on march 10th you said this, you provided all work related e-mails, erring on anything might have been a federal record. you revised the statement and said mr. blumenthal had e-mails you didn't. the revised statement was after we interviewed mr. blumenthal about benghazi and found out we didn't receive from you and the state department the same information we received from hill. in march you said it was your practice to e-mail government
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officials on their dot gov accounts. later you revised that statement, and you said there was a fraction of e-mails with work related information sent to government officials on their personal accounts. >> i'm sorry, but what does this have to do with what happened in benghazi? when are we going to get there? >> the gentleman is not recognized. the gentleman from ohio controls the time. >> it has everything to do because we want the record so we can get to the truth. maybe if the gentleman from washington would have shown up for more than just one hour of one interview, we might know more about the situation as well and the lack of getting the record. the second statement, the revised statement was after this committee had contacted huma abedin, jake ryne nas, asking for their personal accounts which meant we would get their e-mails. and that first statement in march was not accurate. in march you said no classified information was september or
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received on your personal accounts. you later revised your statement and said no information marked classified was sent or received on your personal account. once again, your revised statement was after the inspector general for the intelligence community had examined your e-mails and determined that yes, some indeed were classified. secretary clinton, it seems like there's a pattern, a pattern to changing your story. in march you say one thing. the truth comes out weeks and months later, you say something else. that's not being the most transparent person ever, not even being transparent. if your story about your e-mails keep changing, how can we accept your statement that you turned
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overall work related e-mails and all ex-mails about libya? >> congressman, i have said repeatedly that i take responsibility for my use of personal e-mail. i said it was a mistake. i said it was allowed, but it was not a good choice. when i got to the department we were faced with a global financial crisis, major troop decisions on afghanistan, imperative to rebuild our alliances in europe and asia, on going war in iraq and so much else. e-mail was not my primary means of communication, as i have said earlier. i did not have a computer on my desk. i described how i did work no meetings, secure and unsecure phone calls, reviewing many, many pages of materials every day, attending a great deal of meetings, and i provided the department, which has been providing you, with all of my work related e-mails, all that i
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had, approximately 55,000 pages. and they are being publicly released. >> i appreciate that. let's get into that. those 55,000 pages, there were 62,000 total e-mails on your system. you have stated you used a multistep process to determine which ones were private, which were private, which belonged to you and your family which belonged to the taxpayer. who determined which ones we might get and which ones were personal? >> that was overseen my attorneys. they coop ducted a rigorous review of my e-mails -- >> these are the folks sitting behind you, mr. kendall, miss mills? >> yes, that's right. >> you said rigorous. what's that mean? >> it means that they were asked to provide anything that could be possibly construed as work related. in fact, in my opinion, and
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that's been confirmed by the state department -- >> i'm asking how was it done? did somebody physically look at the 62,000 e-mails? did you use search terms, date parameters? i want specifics. >> they did all of that. i didn't look over their shoulders. i thought it would be appropriate for them to conduct that search and they did. >> will you provide this committee or can you answer today what were the search terms? >> the search terms were everything you could imagine that might be related to anything, but they also went through every single e-mail. >> that's not answering the question. what were the search terms? search terms means terms. what search terms did you use? what was the start date, the end date and the e-mails in between we'll look at? >> congressman, i asked my attorneys to oversee the process. i did not dictate over their shoulder. i didn't dictate how they would do it. i did not ask what they were doing and how they made the
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conclusions. >> you don't know what terms they used to determine which ones were their ex-mails and which ones we got. >> the state department had from 90 to 95% of all the ones that were work related. >> i'm not asking about those. i'm asking about the 62,000 exclusively on your system. >> 90 to 95% of all work related e-mails -- >> secretary clinton we know the national archive said 1250 were clearly personal, no way you should have sent them to the state department. we know 15 you missed because we got those from mr. blumenthal. if you missed 15 you should have given us, you gave us 1250 that the national archive say you never should have turned over. you erred on both sides. you might have made more mistakes, we don't know. >> well, first of all, you had
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nine hours with one of my attorneys, and since i think the democrats just finally released the transcript -- >> i specifically asked miss mills, i did, i asked her about this. she gave me basically the same answer you're giving me. >> she'll be happy to supplement it. >> she's not on the witness stand today. you are. >> i asked my attorneys to do it. i thought that was the appropriate way to proceed. >> let me do one other statement. i hope we'll know the terms. the american people would like to know what terms you used so we can find out what happened these four americans gave their lives. >> your server was located on the property protected by the secret service. there was one server on your property in new york and a second server hosted by a colorado company in housing, new jersey, is that right? there were two servers?
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>> no. there was a server that was already being used by my husband's team, an existing system in our home, that i used. and then later, again, my husband's office decided that they wanted to change their arrangements and that's when they contracted with the company in colorado. >> so there's only one server, is that what you're telling me, the one server the fbi has? >> the fbi has the server used during the tenure of my state department service. >> in your statement you say which is protected by the secret service. why did you mings the secret service? >> because -- >> because the secret service agent standing at the back door of your house protects someone from russia or china hacking into your system. why did you mention the secret service agent? >> out of an abundance of being transparent. >> transparent.
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what's the relevance to protecting from classified information? >> there was nothing marked classified on my e-mails, either september or received. >> you used the right term there. you used mark. you used the revised statement there. congressman, there was a lot of confusion because many americans have no idea how the classification process worked and, therefore, i wanted to make it clear that there is a system within our government, certainly within the state department where materials that is thought to be classified is marked such so that people have the opportunity to know how they are supposed to be handling those materials, and that's why it became clearer, i believe, to say that nothing was marked classified at the time i sent or received it. >> all right. all i know that's different from what you said in march. i've got one last question. the fbi has your server. they're doing a forensic review
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of your server. they may, they may recover e-mails that you deleted from your system. so i didn't say this, you said it. you said it a little bit ago, transparency. you said you were more transparent than anybody else ever. i want to ask one more question. if the fbi finds e-mails deleted, will you agree to allow a neutral third party, like a retired federal judge, to review any e-mails relevant to our investigation. >> congressman, as you point out, there is a security inquiry being conducted by the department of justice and i trust they will do whatever is appropriate to reach their conclusio conclusions. >> would you as the most transparent person ever, would you commit to saying whatever they find, i want a retired federal judge to evaluate ha and look and see if we need some of that information to get to the truth. >> i have been releasing my
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e-mails to the public. that is transparency and as i stand by my statement, so far as i know in the modern era, i am the only government official whose ever done that. >> thank you. >> expired, the chair will now recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. westmoreland. >> thank you. madam secretary, so far today i said good evening, good afternoon -- >> while serving breakfast, congressman. >> so i'll say good night. i may be the only person on this side that doesn't care about your personal e-mail because i think you said colin powell had one. the thing that bothers me is that it was a personal server. i think that's the difference because mr. powell's e-mails went through the state department server so just to clarify it, i think the problem is that you had the full control
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of your e-mails because they were on a private server and not the government server. the other thing i like to say is to ms. duckworth, if you would read the testimony of the number of diplomat security agents that served in benghazi, most of them were temporary duty, 45, 60-day people that served. if you read that, i think you'll find that a lot of these things that the secretary said, as far as enhancements, was paid for by petty cash out of their own money and not really fulfilled or completed. the other thing i want to ask you, madam secretary -- >> will the gentleman yield for just 20 seconds?
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>> yeah. >> i think it's why it bee hooves us, they routinely get less than they need and i think americans in general would not be grudged for money to safeguard our diplomats but i agree the report does say that. >> reclaiming my time, there was $20 million she was going to send to libya for their security upgrades. you mentioned the sixth man that you had to wait on the sixth man -- >> the fifth man, i'm sorry. the fifth man. >> all right. i was going to say there must have been somebody hiding in the closet or somebody that we didn't know about. you also said in one of the last things that the state department sent more security from tripoli to benghazi during the attack. >> uh-huh. >> there was not a state department person on that plane. there were four grs agents and two tdy dod people and an
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interpreter. >> well, that is exactly right, and that's why the cooperation and coordination that -- >> ma'am -- >> i've been talking about -- >> from all the information we've got, mr. glen dowtry said we are going down to help our brothers, and he got permission from the chief of station to go down there and he took three other grs agents and then he got the two dod guys that wanted to go, volunteered to go and they took the interpreter and chartered the plane and went down there. it was not a state department deal, and in fact, if you want to know the truth, the only option that the state department had was the fest team you and i
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talked about before. you mentioned it was for rebuilding and i've got the state department thing here about the fest. i would read it but it's going to take up too much of my time. there is not anything -- it doesn't say anything about rebuilding anything. it says that it's for crisis management expertise, time sensitive information, planning for contingency operations, hostage negotiating expertise, which we thought at one time that the ambassador may have been kidnapped. reach back to washington d.c. agencies and specialized communications capabilities. now that's what it says on the state department website. and, you know, that would have been the one thing that you could have done to get people on the way over there to help those folks that were still in an on
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going battle that was ready to go, sitting there but you know what? it never got -- that plane never got out of the hanger. those people never got aassembld and we've got a chain of e-mails the first recommendation came back from your own people and then the fbi told your employees that the best way to handle the situation was to send the fest team, and that was the way it had always been done so did you make the decision not to send the fest team? >> congressman, first, let me say that it's important to recognize that our deputy chief of mission greg hicks was fully engaged in helping to putting to the team that flew from tripoli to benghazi and we were very grateful the cia station chief
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and his colleagues were behind that and we were very appreciative. they, as you know, didn't get there in time because the attack on the compound was very swift. it was over in less than an hour, but they did help eventually to evacuate and it was just an additional tragedy that mr. doherty lost his life in attempting to stave off the attack on the cia annex. with regard to the fest recommendation, everything you read was no longer applicable to our compound in benghazi unlike the fest team responding in nairobi where we were going to have an on going embassy presence, the fest team was very much involved in helping to stand up the communications and
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literally begin to get the embassy function again despite many staff had been murdered in the terrorist attack. it was our judge the fest team was not needed, was not appropriate for benghazi. >> but you really didn't know what was going on at that point when you could have pulled -- >> we did know. we knew from the reports we were getting back from the diplomatic security officers they had to abandon the facility, that it had been set on fire. and it was -- they were forced to take refuge with our cia colleagues at the cia annex and remember, the fest team is not an armed reaction force. that is not what a fest team does. >> ma'am, i know that. >> we had an armed reinforcements coming from tripoli -- >> that was the only tool that
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you had to get people over there yourself. not the d.o.d. >> what -- i'm sorry, congressman, i mean, look -- >> evidently, it has served its purpose from being put in in a different place it responded to but i want to talk to you just a little bit about your e-mails and that is that i think you said it was october that you received a letter that ask you and former secretary of states to present all their e-mails, is that correct? >> that's my memory, yes. >> okay. now in august, the state department met with your attorneys to talk about the lack of the e-mails that they had. did you know that? >> i didn't at the time, no. >> you didn't know that they were meeting, that the state department was meeting with your
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attorneys? >> not at that time, and as you also recall the state department was beginning to turnover to this committee, me e-mails because they had between 90 and 95% of my work related e-mails in the state department system. >> ma'am, they met with your attorney and your attorney they met with happened to be cheryl mills, which was your chief of staff. >> that's correct. that's correct. >> is that weird that your attorney was your chief of staff so that attorney client privilege may have kicked in there -- >> she was my counsel before she was my chief of staff. she became my counsel again after she was my chief of staff. >> well, i know that when the e-mail went out that night, it caught everybody under secretary, director, spokesman and it said ms. mills was counselor, it didn't say chief of staff and that was the night of the attack. lete