tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 22, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
department was meeting with your 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. let me just go a little further.
you said you found out in october your attorneys met with the state department, i believe, it was in august. now from that time you said you turned over everything and that your lawyers went through this and i believe it was in november after finding out in october that they had reviewed all these e-mails. the state department hadn't been able to give us all those e-mails in two years, but your attorneys, how many -- you must have some of the fastest reading attorneys in the world to go through that. i know you've got a group of them there sitting behind you, but how many attorneys does it take to go through 65,000 e-mails in two months? >> well, first of all, the process to provide information to the congress with respect to benghazi started before i left the state department.
there was a concerted effort to gather up any information that might be responsive -- >> did you tell them you had a private server at that time? >> you know, i don't -- i know that -- >> if they were gathering e-mails, you had to tell them you had a private server. >> the server is not the point but the account and i made it a practice to send e-mails that were work related to people on their government accounts. in fact, secretary kerry is the first secretary of state to rely primarily on a government account. so -- >> i'm not talking about the account, i'm talking about the server. one last point, i'll close with this and the chairman will give you time to answer. want me to tell you what i thought? the attorneys sat down with the state department and said we got a problem. and so we got to come up with something that this is not just the secretary having these e-mails in a private server. so i tell you what let's do,
let's go back and ask madeleine allbright that was secretary of state in 1997 that never had an e-mail account and let's go back and ask colin powell, contin condoleezza rice and me -- >> mr. chairman -- >> i'm just telling you, it doesn't smell right and so i yield back. >> well, if i could respond, i think in the course of trying to answer and archive information, the state department determined that they did have gaps in their recordkeeping and it was much more than about me. they had gaps with respect to others, both other secretaries and others in the state department and the technology in the state department indeed throughout our entire government
is notoriously difficult and often unreliable and i think it was the state department's efforts to try to fill some of those gaps. so i didn't know at the time that there had been such a meeting. i learned of it subsequently and when i received a copy of the letter that was sent by the state department to me and the other three proceeding secretaries of state, i immediately said let's help them fill the gaps even though i believed the vast majority of my e-mails were in their system and we did, we conducted the investigation, the survey that i have described to you and turned over more than 30,000 work-related e-mails, 55,000 pages to the state department. 90 to 95% were already there. we sent so many that some were
going to be returned because they were clearly not work related. we did our best. i did my best to make sure that if there were gaps in recordkeeping, at least my materials would be there to help fill any gaps above and beyond the 90 to 95% of e-mails that were already in the system. >> well, i'll not an attorney but i think ms. mills is a good attorney -- >> regular order, mr. chairman, four minutes after regular ten-minute time to be cut off with questioning. >> gentleman is out of time like almost every other member -- >> not four minutes, mr. chairm chairman. >> you'd be surprised. >> it's a late hour and our witness -- >> when the lady finishes, i'll recognize the nextember. >> thank you mr. chairman, i appreciate that courtesy. >> gentleman from california is recognized. >> madam secretary, i don't know how you're doing but i'm exhausted. if we stay here much longer,
you're going to have to take the 3:00 a.m. phone call from the committee room. your testimony has not only gone on longer than both of your prior testimonies to the house and senate combined, i don't know if pleased is the right word but your testimony has gone on longer than all the other hearings that we have held combined. but in the interest of full disclosure, we haven't done very much. so we've only had three hearings in the last year and a half, but still that's pretty impressive because some were multiple witnesses and you have out lasted all of them. but i do think you can tell when you get to the point of diminishing returns when you have members of the panel inventing testimony for you or imagining conversations you're having with your lawyer, as well. as for your e-mails, i feel like channelling bernie sanders here
tonight but i'm no larry david and i know i wouldn't do it right, so instead, i'll tell you about the other person i agree with on your e-mails and it's our chairman who has asked on fox news by chris wallace what your e-mail use has to do with investigating what happened in benghazi and chairman gowdy's response was probably not much of anything. as we, you know, i hope wind up tonight, i want to just make one observation about your e-mails because i think it's true of the investigation generally. for all the talk about your e-mails, what's interesting to me is not a member here, either on the news or in leaked form or whatever has said anything about the content of your e-mails. that added any insight to what we already know. so it's fascinating to me that
for all of this, they have not pointed to a single thing in those e-mails of substance that alters are understanding of what happened in benghazi or alters the conclusions of seven or eight other investigations and what is true of your e-mails is true of this broader investigation which is here we are 17 months later, $4.5 million later and we have nothing new to tell the american people. i have struggled to find something to ask you tonight that hasn't already to be asked an infinite number of times, an infinite number of ways and i'm not going to go through the exercise of searching for a question to be asked again. it's too late for that but having i guess started by pondering what the core theory was of my colleagues, and i do appreciate at least one of them taking a stab at it, i feel it's
my responsibility now as i wind up to tell you what my theory of what is happening is. speaker boehner did not want to form this committee. he said so, not to me but he said so on national tv. he said what is to be gained by having yet another committee after all the other committees we've had investigate? is to be gained by this? this is a bad idea. at some point something changed the speaker's mind. i'm not in the room when the speaker makes the decision to reverse course. in reading a profile of our chairman, he wasn't in the room, either. he got a call from the speaker back in his district saying i decided to form a select committee, how would you like to be the chairman? i bet mr. chairman wishes he never got that call. so who was in the room? well, kevin mccarthy was in the room.
there was nobody better situated to know why this committee was formed, why the speaker changed his mind than the speaker's number two kevin mccarthy so all due respect to the chairman that says shut up other members, you don't know what you're talking about, i'd have to say actually the one person that does know what he's talking about was kevin mccarthy. so that's why i think we're here. and it would be one thing if it was that common in isolation. it would be another if we didn't have one of their own team, a gop investigator will revote for whoever the republican nominee is he tells us proudly but the way we conducted ourselves that is the most compelling evidence that that's the only object here. we've seen amply tonight in the questions, there is very little interest in what actually happened. there's not much interest in how we can prevent it in the future, but there is a lot of interest in trying to score points
against you tonight. everybody, i think on this side of the podium is hoping they are the one that does the got ya that makes the news. well, that's terrible abuse of our responsibility and our power and i think we'll rule the day we did this. i have no questions, madam secretary and i appreciate your patience and yield back and i would be happy to yield to my colleague mr. comings. >> madam i want to associate myself with the voice of my colleag colleague, but i want to go back to the arb. in my 20 years i try to make sure i protect the reputations of the people that come before our committee, be they republican witnesses, be they
democrat or independent, the reason being that i realize that there is life after the hearing. and so often madam secretary is people come before these hearings, their families watching, colleagues watching, they are torn apart and then in many instances, we, things are corrected later on instead of it appearing on the front page of the newspaper, it's on page 33 at the bottom in a little paragraph. and you were talking a little bit earlier about the night of the tragedy and i've done a lot of depositions in my life as a lawyer, but i can tell you and i think you should be very proud
of this, when i listened to cheryl mills, to mr. sullivan, and ms. abernin, when they talked about this night, and what you did, that night in their transcribed interviews, all of them were basically brought to tears. and i remember sitting there saying to myself, you know, if you can create a culture in an organization where people in talking about their boss and how she reacted and what she felt, that would bring them to tears, it says a lot. and i realize that you've gone through a lot, but the fact still remains that -- and it
bothers me when i hear people even imply that you didn't care about your people. that's not right. and then i sit here and i watch you and i saw how you kind of struggled when you were talking about that night and i just for one want to thank you and i appreciate what you've done. it has not been easy. you're right, it's easy to sit up here under these lights and monday morning quarterbacking about what could have been, what should have done. you have laid it out. i think you have said you -- this has not been done perfectly. you wish you could do it another way and then the statement you made a few minutes ago when you said, you know, i have given more thought to this than all of you combined. so i don't know what we want from you.
do we want to badger you over and over again until you get tired until we do get the got ya moment that he's talking about? we're better than that. we are so much better. we are better country. and we're better than using taxpayer dollars to try to destroy a campaign. that's not what america is all about. so you can comment if you like, i just had to get that off my chest. [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> madam secretary? >> thank you, congressman. i came here because i said i would. and i've done everything i know to do, as have the people with whom i worked to try to answer
your questions. i cannot do any more than that. the answers have changed not at all since i appeared two years ago before the house and the senate. and i recognize that there are many currents at work in this committee, but i can only hope that the statesmenship overcomes the partisanship. at some point we have to do this. it is deeply unfortunate that something as serious as what happened in benghazi could ever be used for partisan political purposes.
and i'm hoping that we can move forward together. we can start working together. we can start listening to each other. and i appreciate greatly what you've said ranking member cummings. >> thank you very much. >> madam secretary, before we go, mr. schiff from california made reference to a phone call i received from speaker boehner which he's correct, i did. speaker boehner never mentioned your name in the phone call and my friend from california suggested maybe i wished i had not received that phone call and i'd like to assure him that he could not be further from the truth. learning about the four people, two of whom you worked with and all four of whom we count as fellow americans is worth whatever amount of political
badgering that may come my way. i have seen the personification of courage and public service, so i, adam, to answer your question, no, i don't regret it. i'm a better person for having learned about the four we lost in benghazi and that's why we signed up for it and with that i'll go to mr. pompao. >> mr. schiff you said he had to be in the room with the speaker. he was originally against the formation of the committee but you don't have to guess. it was because the state department turned over information in a request that had not been turned over to the previous committee. he was concerned that and realized the state department and other government agencies may not have provided other committees they needed. so you don't need to speak late. one more administrative item. mr. westmoreland said there was a meeting between your counsel,
ms. mills and state department regarding your e-mails. he said the meeting was in august. it was actually july. it was a little earlier and i want to make sure the record reflects that. i have a few more questions to ask and we saved them at the end of the day because you may not provide answers in an open setting. it's been a long day. i want to give you a heads up. it may be an open hearing is not the place which you'll be permitted to provide the answers because of the nature of the answers you'll provide. these are yes or no questions. were you aware of are you aware of any efforts by the u.s. government in libya to provide any weapons, either directly or indirectly or through a cutout to any libyan rebels or militia or opposition to gaddafi's forces? >> that was a very long question and i think the answer is no. >> were you aware or are you aware of any u.s. efforts by the
u.s. government in libya to provide any weapons, directly or indirectly or through a cut jut to syrian rebels or opposition to syrian forces? >> no. >> were you aware or are you aware of any efforts by the u.s. government to facilitate or provision of weapons to any opposition of gaddafi's forces through a third party or country? >> no. >> did you ever consider the idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition? >> using private security? >> yes, ma'am, i'll ask the question again. did you ever at any time consider the idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition in libya? >> not seriously, no. >> what does not seriously mean, ma'am? >> i think you're referring to a reference in one of sid's
e-mail. >> no, ma'am, reference in your e-mail. >> well, the answer is no. >> i'll read the e-mail, fyi to mr. sullivan seated behind you, fyi the idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered. were you just not serious. >> it was not considered seriously. >> but you thought about it. you thought it might be both appropriate and lawful when you sent that note to mr. sullivan. >> i'm open to ideas but that doesn't mean they are either considered seriously or acted upon. >> were there any further e-mails or discussion with respect to arming private experts arm libyans? >> not that i'm aware of. >> another series of yes or no questions, madam secretary. >> did you ask the department of defense how you would get your people out the evening that the incident occurred? >> that was one of the matters that was discussed with the department of defense, yes. >> and did you ask about what assets were positioned in place they might be able to help?
>> of course, that was part of the conversation from the very beginning. >> did you ask about how long it make take them to arrive either in tripoli or benghazi. >> yes, we did. >> you earlier said today couple hours back that there were no military resources that could have arrived in benghazi in a reasonable time, that is your testimony from today. what was a reasonable time? >> according to what we were told by the defense department within a number of hours. there was not anyway to gets a sets deployed in time to get to benghazi, of course, it was too late for our compound and the idea of evacuating from the cia annex was seriously addressed before the attack but then obviously implemented after. >> yes, ma'am. but when the initial attack occurred, you had no idea how long the incidents would continue, did you? >> it was over within an hour.
>> yes, ma'am. there was a subsequent attack and could have been a third and a fourth, so when the initial attack occurred, did you have any idea what the magnitude and the duration of the events of that night would be? >> congressman, i don't understand your question. we knew that the attack was over. we knew that our diplomatic security team had to evacuate from the compound to the cia annex and we were in a frantic search to find ambassador stevens. >> yes, ma'am, but several hours elapsed and there was a subsequent attack and you didn't know that subsequent attack would take place. i'll concede that. my question is why was heaven and earth not moved at the initial sound of the guns, maybe even putting tankers in the air from mcconnell air force base in kansas? you simply didn't know how long the series of events was going to continue nor did you know how long the risk of the people that worked for you was going to remain? >> congressman, you will have to
ask the defense department these questions. we certainly asked that all effort be made to deploy any assets that could be of use in benghazi. i know that they put a number of assets in the united states, in europe on alert but we were advised that it would take a number of hours to get there and with respect to the cia annex, you should talk with the intelligence community about that. >> yes, ma'am, we will do that and in some cases we have asked those questions. one, you talked earlier about somebody sitting in a prison cell not too far from where we are this evening. i share your view i'm glad we pulled one terrorist involved on that night, when that attack took place, according to the indictment from the justice department, he and his folks removed documents from the
temporary mission facility. were you aware of that? >> yes, we later became aware that documents had been removed but there was no classified documents at benghazi. >> how do you know that? >> we know it through our own investigation about what documents were at benghazi and there were no classified materials to the best of our information. >> yes, ma'am. do you know if there was sensitive information? >> i suppose it depends on what one thinks of as sensitive information, there was information there and some of it was burnt, either wholly or partially. some of it was looted and some of it was recovered eventually. >> madam secretary, do you know whose hands it fell and do you know the nature and contents of that material? you seem co-fa dent it was
classified. i don't share that confidence. do you know where that material went? >> i think it is very difficult to know where it ended up but i want to reiterate, this was not a facility that had the capacity to handle classified material and there was to the best of our information, congressman, no classified material at the benghazi facility. >> the fact it wasn't capable of handling classified material, doesn't mean there was classified material there, is that correct? >> well, the procedure is not to have classified material at such a facility and again, to the best of our knowledge, there wasn't any there. >> yes, ma'am, you're not supposed to have classified things on your private server -- >> i did not, congressman. >> we know it sometimes ends up where it ought not be.
i want to go back to you seriously didn't consider arming private security experts. tell me why you ever considered it at all. >> we considered a whole range of issues. we knew that the insurgent fighting gaddafi needed support and what they were provided was air support facilitated by the united states. the united states did not provide any private contractors to assist them. >> there was an e-mail discussing the same situation. do you know who mark turry is? >> no, i don't recall that i know who that is. >> he was a private trafficker in weapons. he was working with mr. stevens. and attempting to develop an authorization with the state department so that he could in
fact deliver those weapons into libya. does that -- any of that ring a bell to you? >> no, it does not. >> you never saw the e-mail from mr. stevens to, i think it went to mr. sullivan where he says, thank you for this information, it's information about his attempt to get authority to ship arms into libya, he says thank you for this information, i'll keep it in mind and share it with my colleagues in washington, regards, chris or actually regards chris stevens. >> i don't know anything about that specifically. i do know that you're referring to a document and if you are, could you tell us what tab it's at? >> yes, ma'am. i'm not certain it's in there as a tab but i'm happy to provide it to you. >> it's a little difficult to answer questions about documents
we don't have but i can answer you, whatever was considered, either out of politeness or out of interest, there was not any action taken so far as i know. >> mr. chairman, regular order. >> 60 more seconds? >> yes. >> the last republican question near went over by four minutes and given we're allowed ten minutes of questioning each and the late hour and the fact that we're a pin beyond testimony already, i think that it's appropriate to ask for regular order and that questioning be closed for this particular member of the panel. >> the gentleman recognized for 60 seconds. >> thank you. i'll come back to one issue about accountability. you said you didn't have lawful authority to terminate any employees, is that correct? >> that is correct and it is because of the laws and the regulations of our government congressman. >> did you have the authority to
provide a counseling statement to any employee? >> i do not know what you're referring to. >> in other words, you couldn't fire them but you could put a letter in their employment file saying hey, you didn't do your job well. >> i think it was pretty well-known that the arb did not think they did their job and the arb specifically said and some of this is declassified as you know about personal matters that they could not find breach of duty but they were as firm in saying that there were failures in the performance of the people that they named. >> i'll just -- >> regular order. >> just two yes or no questions. >> 60 seconds, i believe the chairman granted. >> i'll wait for the next round. i'll yield back. >> before my time starts, you said something i want to page sure was clear. he said he's going to wait for his next round, i thought we were closing down here.
>> how late are we going tonigh tonight? >> gentleman is recognized as two yes or no questions. >> madam secretary, did you ask someone or did you prepare a counseling statements or letter of reprima-- >> is a process that was the appropriate process for dealing with issues concerning performance and that was followed. i continued into my successor's term and secretary of state, secretary kerry made whatever the final determine nations were. >> i yield back. >> time expired. we'll recognize the gentleman from maryland, mr. coummings. >> i know the hour is late but madam secretary, i need to go
back to something. you know, maybe it's because i'm getting older and care about legacy, reputation, that kind of thing but there is an 83-year-old gentleman named ambassador pickering, and i've heard a lot of testimony. i was there for his deposition. i was also transcribed, i don't remember which it was and then before his testimony before the oversight committee, and when he talked about his appointment to the arb, he talked about what an honor it was. the thing that bothers me about this is when there are attacks on the r.b., it's like attacking him and at 83 years old, i refuse to sit here and let that
go by. and i remember listening to him and i said to myself, you know, this is the kind of guy that we all ought to honor serving under presidents for 40 years, democrat and republican, high up on the chain with regard to integrity. i mean, i don't say i even attack this guy, all right? and one of the things he said in his testimony, he said and this was you appointed him and he talked about the appointment and i quote from a june 4th, june 4th testimony, he said chris stevens worked for me as my special assistant for two years when i was under secretary of state. this was not any kind of vendetta, but i felt that chris gave me two wonderful years of his life in supporting me in a
very difficult circumstances and that i owed him, his family, and the families of the other people who died the best possible report we could put together. and he went on and said other things that were so powerful and then when i hear the implications of people attacking the report, talking about he's not, he wasn't i dependent, it's like an attack against him. and i can say the same thing about admiral mullin and i want you to tell us about why you picked the folk you picked and by the way, it's done by law. that's what you're supposed to do. why don't you tell us how you picked them.
were you looking for a yes report? were you looking for? >> well, congressman, i greatly appreciate your strong words of commendation on behalf of ambassador pickering and admiral mullin. you're right, the statute is clear the secretary of state picks four of the five members of the accountability review board. as i said earlier today, there have been 19 accountability review bored reports and i think myself and prior secretaries have been very fortunate that they could call on distinguished americans with long records of service to perform this very important task. when i was thinking about who has the integrity of the independence, the experience to give us an unvarnished look at what happened, the first person
i thought of was ambassador tom pickering. he has as you rightly say served our nation for more than four decades. he holds the rank of career ambassador, that's the highest position in the foreign service. he served as under secretary of state for political affairs. he served as our u.s. ambassador to russia, india, el salvador and jordan and served as the u.s. ambassador and representative to the united nations where he led the u.s. effort under the first bush administration to build a coalition in the u.n. security counsel during and after the first gulf war. the man who had served in high posts and dangerous posts. he understood what was to be expected and i counted on him in giving me the most comprehensive report possible.
i also wanted to find somebody with military experience because these questions that have been raised about, you know, could we have gotten assets there? actually happened with the diplomatic security agents? and admiral mike mullin who had just recently retired as the chairman of the joint chiefs was again, i thought, the perfect choice to work with ambassador pickering as you know, he was nominated by president george w. bush to be chairman of the joint chiefs. he served as chief of naval operations and led u.s. naval forces in europe, commanded a missal cruiser, missile destroyer, tank where he served in vietnam in the persian gulf. excuse me. >> you need some water, madam?
secretary? would you like us to take a 60-second, two-minute break? >> no, just let me grab. so congressman, i have the up most confidence in both of them. >> thank you. >> let me say this, you know, this hearing began with the chairman reading a list of questions that he claimed were unanswered. in fact, those questions had been asked and answered many times. matter of fact, when we go back to the last questioner, you know, it was speaker boehner
who, as a matter of fact last tuesday, madam secretary, speaker boehner acknowledged to fox news the allegation that the u.s. government was involved in an illegal weapons program in libya has been and this is according to him, investigated by the house intelligence committee and that's what speaker boehner said. about this elicit weapons transfer situation. do you want us to hold on, madam? okay. and so going back, today so these questions again were many asked and answered. the new documents we obtained and the interviews we conducted don't contradict the conclusions from the previous investigations. they simply confirm them.
even after this marathon grilling, the select committee has found no evidence of any activity on the part of the secretary. she did not order the military to stand down. and there is still no indication that she approved or denied requests for security in benghazi. as the day has dragged on, this select committee's cost raised up to $4.8 million. that's taxpayer dollars, by the way. two weeks ago, the state department informed the select committee that it has spent $14 million responding to requests relating to benghazi over the past three years. this does not include the cost incurred over the past three years by other federal agencies such as the department of defense. in the letter to congress on
march 1 1th, 2014, the defense department estimated that the total cost it has spent during previous reviews ran quote the millions of dollars. so that's at least $20 million right there. and that's a conservative estimate because it does not include the cost of the seven previous investigations by congressional committees. when i think about that amount, $20 million, $20 million, it pains me to imagine what that money could have done. i don't want anyone to mistake what i'm saying, of course, we needed to know what happened in benghazi so we could take action to help prevent it in the future. and i have personally investigated this. we compiled an entire database of investigation on to our
website about a year ago. we put together 133-page report and the results of interviews and i want those transcripts to be made public to the american people after the appropriate redr redaxs. i want them to be released. i want the americans to see every word, with appropriate redactions, we could have dedicated at least some part of those funds to increasing security through diplomats overseas even if it were just a fraction of this amount. i can't help but wonder how many consulates could have been
improved. how many how diplomats would be safer today. with that mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. madam secretary, i couldn't help but think using the $20 million tig gur, two more we could have paid for. i refuse to put a price tag on the lives of four americans your figu figure, but i can't care the figure, there is no price tag the author of an e-mail, three months to the day, three months to the day from when our four fellow americans were killed, the author of the e-mail, the
continuity to do business would be challenging. would you want to talk to the author of that e-mail if you were investigating benghazi. >> they had the run to talk to anybody they wanted to talk to. they conducted more than 100 interviews and they were well aware as their report reflects of -- >> i don't want -- >> -- the dangerous situation in libya. >> that was not my question. would you want to talk to that person? not whether or not the arb did because the arb did talk to that person. my question is wouldn't you want to talk to that person if you were investigating benghazi --
>> as you said, the arb did. >> the co-chair told your chief of staff and told the author of that e-mail not to go to congress. that's my point. that's why the first two hearings were making sure the recommendations by the arb were implemented but when the author of that e-mail is going to be brought before congress and one of the co-chairs calls your chief of staff and says i don't think that witness will be a good witness, madam secretary, with all due respect she's a fact witness whether good or bad, the author of that e-mail has a right for congress to question them. i mean, that's not even a close question. so somebody can be a good person and i have no doubt that mr. mullin and mr. pickering both
are but this is also what i don't doubt, i don't doubt that that phone call was made to ms. mills saying don't send ms. lamb before congress she's not going to make a good witness and i don't doubt there is a transcript from any interviews. if you're going to writhe a report and write with a report with specificity, you have to site the transcript. i can't tell you a single question asked of a single arb witness because there is no transcript. my point is not that the arb did a bad job of a good job, my point is from the standpoint of a serious investigation, it was an inadequate job and i want to hopefully prove that to you. there used to be a stack up there when mr. smith was with us about the previous investigations that congress and arb had done. did any of those previous congressional investigations or the arb have access to your
e-mails? >> mr. chairman, first of all, the witness you were referring to did appear before congress. >> that was not my point -- >> well, but your implication was that that witness was stopped from going to congress -- >> no -- >> that did not happen, mr. chairman. >> no, she definitely came. that's not my implication. my implication is the co-chair of what you call an independent accountability review board was calling someone he was supposed to be investigating to say please don't send that witness to congress, they are not going to show up well. that's my point. my point is how can you consider that to be -- i mean -- >> well -- >> have you ever heard of a judge calling the d.a. or defense attorney and saying don't call that witness. >> i really don't care what you say about me, i doesn't bother me a bit. i do care about what you're implying about admiral mullin. he served with great distinction. he served the state department
with great distinction in being the co-chair of the accountability review board and i think his work speaks for itself and i'm sorry that -- >> well -- >> -- the important work done by that board is held in such low regard by some members of this committee and i deeply regret it. >> are you doubting that he placed the phone call? is that the purpose -- >> i know nothing about the phone call. >> i do because he testified before another congressional committee. he admits it was a mistake, madam secretary, i don't know why you can't. he admits it was a mistake to call and say don't send a fact witness before a congressional committee -- >> i think that -- >> that doesn't mean he's a bad person but when you hold up up the arb as independent. in taking some folks, despite the fact that some people think patrick kennedy may have been
involved in approving or not, if you need to read a note from your lawyer, you're welcome to, madam secretary. >> no, it's just hard to sit here listening to the comments you're making about someone that i consider to be a great american. if he said he made a mistake, that's even more proof of what a fine gentleman he is and what a great public servant he's been. it doesn't in any way impugn his service for 40 years and certainly not his service and the accountability review board. i can't help it, mr. chairman, that you-all don't like the findings of the accountability review board. i can't help -- >> we've had two hearings -- >> all the other congressional -- >> we had two hearings where we did nothing but discuss the implantation of the arb, findings, so with all due respect, we had more hearings about the arb findings than with you. so don't tell me that we don't care about the arb. we had two hearings.
my point is this, the arb nor the previous congressional investigation had access to your e-mails, did they? >> i don't know what they had access to. i know that during the time i was at the state department, there was certainly a great effort to respond to your predecessor, congressman's inquiries and many thousands of pages of information was conveyed to the congress and i know that the state department has work ed diligently and persistently to respond to the many requests that it has received and i think that given the pressure and stress of business they have been under has performed as well as they could. you will be getting and in fact the entire world will be getting all of my e-mails because they
will be public and you'll be able to read along with everybody else. >> madam secretary, that was not my question. the previous committee had access to your e-mail. >> 90 to 95% of my work related e-mails were in the state system if they wanted to see them, they would certainly have been able to. >> that is maybe the tenth time you have site that figure today. >> it is. >> and i have not heard anyone other than you ever site that figure. who told you that 90 to 95% of your e-mails were only the state department system? who told you that? >> we learned that from the state department in their analysis of the e-mails that were already on the system. we were trying to help them close some gaps that they had. >> and you provide me -- can you provide me with a name? when i asked the state department about ten days ago what's the source of that figure, they shrugged their shoulders. >> well, you can look for the
state.gov addresses and they certainly pop up. >> and the inspector general report madam secretary, the report which you can't argue but perfect analogy but extrapolate the inspector general report found that less than 1%, less than 1% of state department e-mails, record e-mails were captured. so they give a number of less than 1% and you give a number of 90%. >> well, i don't know what you're referring to. i can only speak about my e-mails. my work-related e-mails. >> let's talk about your work-related e-mails. we asked for them last year and the state department gave us eight. if they had 90% of yours, why did we only get eight? >> i don't know initially what you asked for but i know that they tried to be responsive. 90 to 95% of them were on state.gov. i understand that the committee broadened the scope of their
request and i think that in response the state department has been trying to provide what you have requested. in the meantime, they are going through the process of making all e-mails public. >> you think in the first request, there were eight e-mails? >> i believe the first request was for benghazi and i believe the state department did a diligent search and you expanded to other terms and i believe -- >> our jurisdiction hasn't grown. our jurisdiction is the same it was. you say you turned over everything. i don't get a chance to watch you a lot on television but when you're interviewed, you make a point of saying i turned over everything. >> all my work related e-mails. >> how do you know that? >> i know that because there was an exhaustive search done under the supervision of my attorneys
and that is exactly the outcome. we turned over every work related e-mail. in fact, as somebody referred to earlier, we turned over too many. there are 1246 out of the 30,000 plus they determined did not need to be turned over -- >> regular order, mr. chairman. >> and you had a really good group of attorneys which makes me wonder how they missed 15 of them. >> if you're talking about mr. bloom irk bloomingthal, i was under no obligation to make any of his e-mails available unless i decide id they were work related and the ones i decided were work related i forwarded to the state.gov accounts with the people with whom i worked. >> madam secretary, is there any question the 15 james cole turned over to us were work related? there is no ambiguity about that, they were work related. >> they were from a personal
friend, not any official governme government, not any government official and i determined what was work related and what wasn't and some i didn't have time to read -- >> mr. chairman, regular order. >> are you telling me -- >> mr. chairman? >> i will tell the general lady from california that i'm going to take a little bit extra time just like everybody else has and we can do it this round, we can do it this round or next round. >> may i make a simple inquiry how many more minutes the chairman -- >> the fewer the interceptions, the quicker i can get done. put it to you that way. how is that? >> be mindful of the time. >> my question on the 15 did your lawyer decide they weren't work related or did they not find them? >> well, i don't know why he had e-mails i didn't and i don't know why apparently i had e-mails he didn't and all i can tell you is i turned over every
work related e-mail in my possession. >> all right. i'm going to make two more observations and then we're going to call it a night. the first observation that i would make is that when you speak to the public, you say i turned over everything. that's for the most part a direct quote. when you talk to the public, you say i turned over everything. when you talk to the court, you say while i do not know what information may be responsive for purposes of this lawsuit, i have directed that all my e-mails on clinton e-mail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the department of state and information and belief that was done. why the different explanation depending on what you're talking to? >> one is a short hand, mr. chairman. >> why not tell the court i turned over everything? >> well, you know how lawyers are. they use more words perhaps than they need? >> trust me i know that and they
charge you for every one of them? >> i'm well aware of that, mr. chairman, and the clock is ticking. [ laughter ] >> one more, one more and i'll pay mr. kendall's fee for the last question. >> you probably won't want to do that, mr. chairman. >> i probably can't. >> see my point, you're definitive talking to the american people you're turning over everything. >> that's right. >> but those lawyer fudge words and everyone tonight you cannot tell us you turned over everything because you didn't think you missed the 15. >> well, i didn't have them. i turned over everything i had. everything i had has -- >> which means the system -- >> has been turned over to the state department. >> you somehow missed those 15? >> well -- >> last question on your system. mr. cummings said your e-mail arrangement was inappropriate. i think the president may have said it was a mistake.
you have said that it was a mistake. my question to you, madam secretary, was it a mistake for the four years that you had that e-mail arrangement, was it a mistake for the almost two years that you kept the public record to yourself or manifest itself as a mistake in the last six months? >> well, since i believed that all of my work related e-mails to .gov accounts were captured and preserved, it wasn't until i was asked to help the state department to fill in what they saw as recordkeeping gaps, not just with me but with others, i did the best i could during those four years and thought that everything that i was e-mailing that was work related was being preserved. >> if you can find the source for the 90 to 95%, i would be grateful for it, and we would
probably have fewer questions. if there is a source you can provide that 90 to 95% were on the state department system, then i'll know i need to ask the state department who took them so long because i'm just telling you madam secretary, i got eight e-mails the first time i ask and now i got over 1500. there is some disconnect there. >> mr. chairman, i think that is a fair question. and i'm not at the state department any longer but i do want to defend them. they are under the most extraordinary pressure to answer congressional inquiries. i saw a figure recently that foyer requests have jumped something like 300%. they don't have the resources. they don't have the personnel. they take the responsibility of reading every single line and as ranking member cummings reminded us, having to redact personal
information, of usually they take it very seriously, i think they are doing the best they can and i know they have tried to be responsive to you and to the many other requests that have come their way. >> madam secretary, on behalf of us we want to thank you for your patience and for your willingness to come and you have been willing to come in the past, as i noted in my opening, and we appreciate it and with that, we will be adjourned. >> thank you. >> there you have it. good evening. thanks for joining us tonight. you see it wrapping up. former secretary of state longly awaited, testimony before the house committee on benghazi. proceedings began at 10:00 a.m. this morning and ended with fireworks between secretary clinton and trey gowdy. republican lawmakers all day on the attack but also on the defensive at times after two members of their own party i including the