tv Outnumbered FOX News October 22, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
there were particular concerns about eastern libya. >> did you read the piece that was libya, al-qaeda establishing sanctuary? >> i'm aware that that was, certainly, among the information provided to me. >> there was another particular piece that was talked about after the ied attack that africom wrote, al-qaeda expands in libya. were you familiar with that? >> i can't speak to specific pieces, congressman, but i was well aware of the concerns we all had about the setting up of jihadist training camps and other activities in libya, particularly in eastern libya. >> you were briefed, and i think the cia between january and september of 2012, had over 4500 pages of intelligence.
of intelligence, and i know you had a specific division, i guess of the state department under you that was called intelligence and research. did think keep you up to speed on all these 400 cables or, different things that they were getting? did they keep you up to speed of that, were you aware of them? >> congressman, i can't speak to specific reports but i can certainly agree with you that i was briefed and aware of the increasingly, dangerous upsurge in militant activity in libya. >> so what did you do to make sure that our men and women over there were protected knowing how much the threat had grown, especially in benghazi, because a lot of people say that really, in the summer of 2012, the
security in benghazi was worse than it was during the revolution? >> congressman, with respect to not only the specific incidents that you referenced earlier, but the overall concerns about benghazi. i think that i have stated previously there was never any recommendation by anyone, the intelligence community, the defense department, the state department officials, responsible libya, to leave benghazi. even of after the two incidents that you mentioned, because in part, as i responded to congressman smith, we had so many attacks on facilities, that, as i said, went back to 2001, that certainly also happened in other parts of the world while i was there. each was a evaluated, and there was not a recommendation,
furthermore, there was not even on the morning of september 11th, while, chris stevens and sean smith were at the compound, chris had spoken with intelligence experts. there was no credible, actionable threat known to our intelligence community. >> yes, ma'am. >> against our compound. >> reclaiming my time. you said, that the ambassador krebs was pulled out of tripoli because of threats to his life. >> there were threats from people associated with qadaffi after publication of cables he had written that were made public by wikileaks. >> and you say you were aware o% the two attacks at the mission facility in benghazi. >> uh-huh. >> mr. mr. morel in his book states there were 20 attacks on
the facility. are you familiar with the other 11? >> there were two we thought rose to the level of being serious and -- >> were you familiar with the other 18? >> i'm not aware of 18 others. and i would point out, and i'm sure that former director morell was making that point when he was testifying. the cia stayed in libya. the cia had a much bigger presence than the state department. despite the overall decline in stability. some might argue actually because of the overall in stability it was thought to be thought to be even more important for the cia to stay there. they also did not believe their facility would the subject after deadly attack either because i think sometimes -- >> ma'am -- >> sometimes the discussion discussion gets pulled together when we had chris an sean dying at state department compound
which we're discussing and we had our other two deaths of tyrone woods and glen doherty at the cia annex. >> reclaiming my time for just a minute. i do appreciate that, if you talked to the cia contractors that were at the annex and you asked them how they were armed and equipped. and then if you would, or could, talk to the diplomatic security agents at the facility, i think you will see there was a big, big difference in the equipment that they had to protect their self. but, you knew of the two, what you call, major incidents but you don't recollect the other 18 that mr. morell says happened. how many instances would have taken to you, hey, we need look at security over there? would it be three major instances. 30 major instances?
40 instances? 50 instances? how many instances would you have been made aware of that would have made you say, i don't care whatever anybody else says we'll protect our people. chris stevens is a good friend of mine, we'll look at him. how many would it have taken? >> congressman, of course i made it abundantly clear we had to do everything we could to protect our people. what i did not, and do not believe any secretary should do was to substitute my judgment, from thousands of miles away, for the judgment of the security professionals who made the decisions about what kind of security would be provided. >> ma'am -- >> i foe that sound somewhat hard to understand but you know, we have a process, and the experts, who i have the greatest confidence in, and who had been through so many difficulty positions because practically all of them had row it at
thatted through afghanistan, pakistan, iraq, yemen, other places. they were the ones making the assessment. no one ever came to me and said, we should shut down our compound in benghazi. >> ma'am, i'm not saying shut it down. i'm saying protect it. i'm not saying, i'm not saying shut it down. i'm just saying protect it. >> right. >> when you say security professionals, i'm not trying to be disparaging of anybody, but i don't know who those folks were but -- >> they were risking their lives. >> my little opinion wasn't very professional came to protecting people. you said that the mission you gave ambassador stevens was to go into and investigate the situation. now if you're going to investigate a situation, seems to me you would have to get out into the country to investigate that. i don't know if you're aware of it or not, but there were not even enough diplomatic security
for him to leave the compound without asking the cia operatives to assist them. were you aware of that? >> well, we had an agreement with the cia to help supplement security, and to come to the aid of, it was a mutual agreement. >> was that a written agreement? >> no. it was not a written agreement but, we, we are posted with the cia in many places in the country. >> okay. >> in the world. and it's important to have a good working relationship and we did. and unfortunately despite all the weapons and despite the fortification to cia contractors died at the cia annex that night. >> just to follow up one thing about ambassador stevens. you got a lot of emails from sidney blumenthal. you say that mr. blumenthal was a friend of yours. and he had your personal email address. >> uh-huh. >> you say chris stevens was a
friend of yours. he asked numerous times for extra protection. now if i had been mr. stevens, around think anybody out there, anybody watching this would agree, if i had been mr. stevens and i had a relationship with you, and i had requested 20 or more times for additional security to protect, not only my life, burr the people that were there with me, i would have gotten in touch with you some way. i would have let you know that i was in danger, and the situation had deteriorated to a point, i needed you to do something. did he have your personal email? >> congressman, i, i do not believe that he had my personal email. he had the email and he had the direct line to everybody that he had worked with for years. he had been --
>> but not yours? >> officials with the state department. they had gone through difficult, challenging, dangerous assignments together. he was in constant contact with people. yes, he have and people working for him asked for more security. some of those requests were approved. others were not. we're obviously looking to learn what more we could do, because it was not only about benghazi, it was also about the embassy in tripoli. and i think it's fair to say that, you know, chris asked for what he and his people requested, because he thought it would be helpful but he never said to anybody in the state department, you know what? we just can't keep doing this. we just can't, we can't stay there. he was in constant contact with, you know, people on my staff, other officials in the state department. and, you know, i did have the
opportunity to talk with him and, about the substance of the policy. but, with respect to security, he took those requests where they belonged. he took them to security professionals. have to add, congressman, the diplomatic, security professionals are the among the best in the world. i would put them up against anybody. and i just can not allow any comment to be in the record, in any way criticizing or disparaging them. they have kept americans safe in two wars and in a lot of other really terrible situations over the last many years. i trusted them with my life. you trust them with yours when you're on codels. they deserve better and deserve all the support the congress can give them because they're doing a really hard job very well. >> ma'am, all i can say they missed something here and we lost four americans. >> gentleman's time is expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas,
mr. pompeo. >> madam secretary, you referred to the qddr a couple times as being important to diplomatic security, is that correct? >> it provoked a discussion, congressman, about balancing of risk. >> madam secretary, i've had a chance to read that. i wont only read of the executive summary ran 25 pages. it didn't have a word about diplomatic security in that entire 25 pages. madam secretary. then he read remaining 270 plus. you know how many of those pages of 20 had to do diplomatic security? >> it was about balancing risk and reward. not only about diplomatic security but about larger question of our mission around the world. >> madam secretary, there was no balance. there was two pages. out of 270 pages. you talked about a lot of things in there. you talked about a lot of improvements. that didn't have anything to do with diplomatic security in any
material way in that report. you talked about being disappointed too, you said that several times, you were disappointed. you read arb? when did you fire someone? in kansas, i'm asked constantly, how come no one is held accountable. how come no single person lost a fay check given fact we had first ambassador killed since 1979. how come no one has been held accountable to date? >> well, congressman, the accountability review board pointed out several people working in the state department who they thought had not carried out their responsibilities adequately but they said they could not find a breach of duty, and. >> yes, ma'am. >> the personnel rules and laws that govern those decisions were followed very carefully. >> yes, ma'am. i'm not asking what the arb did. i'm asking what you did? >> i followed the law, congressman. that was my responsibility.
>> madam secretary, you are telling me you had no authority to take anyone's paycheck, to cause anyone to be fired? you were telling me you were legally prohibited from doing that, is that your position here this morning. >> it is my position in the absence of finding dereliction or breach of duty, there could not be immediate action taken but there was a process that was immediately instituted and which led to decisions being made. >> yes, ma'am. the decision was put these back at fullback pay and keep them on as employees. that was the decision that was made as a result of the processes that you put in place. i will tell you folks in kansas don't think that is accountability. i want to do some math with you. could i get the first chart, please? you know how many security requests there were in the first quarter of 2012? >> for everyone or for benghazi? >> i'm sorry, yes, ma'am, related to benghazi and libya, do you know how many there were? >> no, i do not know. >> ma'am there were over 100 plus. second quarter do you know how many there were?
>> no, i do not. >> ma'am, there were 172ish. might have been 171 or 173. how many were there in july and august and then in that week, a few days before the attacks, do you know? >> there were a number of them, i know that. >> yes, ma'am, 83, by our count. that is over 600 requests. you've testified here this morning that you had none of those reach your desk? >> that's correct. >> madam secretary, mr. blumenthal wrote you 150 e-mails. appears from materials all of those reached your desk. can you tell us why security requests from your professionals the man you just testified which i agree are incredibly professional, incredibly capable people, trained in the the art f keeping us all safe, none of those made it to you, but a man who was a friend of yours, who never been to libya, didn't know much about it, at least that's his testimony, didn't know much about it, everyone much those reports that he sent on to you had to do with situations on ground in libya, those made it to your desk.
he asked for more of them. you read them. you corresponded with him. and yet folks that worked for you didn't have the same courtesy? >> well, congressman, as is, as you're aware he is friend of mine. he sent me information he thought might be of interest. some of it was, some of it wasn't. some of it i forwarded to be followed up on. the professionals and experts who reviewed it found some of it useful, some of it not. >> madam secretary -- >> he had no official position in the government and he was not at all my advisor on libya. he was a friend who sent me information that he thought might be in some way helpful. >> madam secretary i have lots of friends, they send me thinkings i have never have somebody send couple of piece of intelligence with level of detail mr. blumenthal sent me every week. that was a special friend. >> it was information that had been shared with him that he forwarded on. and as someone who got the vast majority of the information that i acted on from official channels, i read a lot of
articles, that brought new ideas to my attention. and occasionally people including him and others would give me ideas. they all went into the same process to be evaluated. >> yes, ma'am. i will tell you that the record we received today does not reflect that it simply doesn't. we have read emails. we read everything we could get our hands on, taken us a long time to get it. you just described all this other information that you relied upon and it doesn't comport with the record that this committee has been able to establish today. i want you to take a look to the chart in the left. see increasing number of requests, over 600. i think data matters. pictures are a lot. increase in the requests, bottom line is increase in the security. you notice slope of those two lines are very different. can you account for why that is, why we have increasing request, yet no increase in security? >> well, congressman, i can only tell you, i know a number of requests were fulfilled.
and some were not. but from my perspective, again, these were handled by the people that were assigned the task of evaluating them. and, you know, think it's important to again reiterate, that although there were problems and deficiencies discovered by the accountability review board, the general approach to have security professionals handle security requests i think still stands. >> yes, ma'am. i wish you had listened to those security professionals. you described mr. stevens as having the best knowledge of libya of anyone, your words this morning. and yet, when he asked for increased security he didn't get it. second chart. this chart does the same thing. i talked about requests for additional assistance. this chart goes through, i won't go through numbers in detail. we talked about them a bits but shows increases number of
incidents at your facility, state department facility in benghazi, libya. it shows increase in security being non-existence. i assume answer is the same we have increasing security incidents but no corresponding increase in the amount of security? >> congressman, i have to respectfully disagree. many security requests were fulfilled. we would be happy to get you that information for the record. so i can't really tell what it is you're putting on that poster but i know that a number of security requests were fulfilled for benghazi. >> yes, ma'am. what it shows the number of direct diplomatic security agents at beginning of 2012 and those there the day of murder of four americans is no different. >> congressman, the decision as i recall was that the post, namely embassy tripoli, on behalf of benghazi requested five diplomatic security personnel and they did have that on the day that chris stevens
was in benghazi. unfortunately that proved insufficient in the face of kind of attack they were facing. >> yes, ma'am. put next poster up please. madam secretary, you're not likely to know who these two folks are, do you? >> i do not. >> one of the left is mohammed, the head of ansar al sharia, jihadist group based in benghazi. the man on your left, amin, were you aware your folks in benghazi libya, met with that man 48 hours before the attack? >> i know nothing about any meeting with him. >> on september 11th, the day he was killed, ambassador stevens sent a cable to the state department talking about his meeting with mr. bin amid. are you aware of that cable? >> no i'm not. >> he said in his cable, they, referring to, mr. amid, they wanted introductory meeting.
they were here. they asked us what we needed to bring security to benghazi. your officials were meeting with this man on ground in benghazi libya, discussing security two days before that. but in august of that same year, the united states government had said that this very man was quote, a young rebel leader who allegedly fought in iraq under the flag of al qaeda. were you aware that our folks were either wittingly or unwittingly meeting with al qaeda on the ground in benghazi libya, hours before the attack? >> i know nothing about this, congressman. >> i think that is deeply disturbing. i think the fact that your team was meeting -- >> i'm sorry which team is this. >> would have been, we don't know exactly who held the meeting with him. it would have been one of our state department employees, madam secretary. i don't know which one. perhaps you can enlighten us to get records we need to do so but to date we have not been able to learn that.
>> since we didn't have on going presence of state department personnel in benghazi i don't know with whom you are referring. >> mr. chairman, i will yield back balance of my time. >> gentleman from kansas yields. chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, mrs. sanchez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary, coming again to answer our questions. we know over last 17 months there have been number of allegations made with respect to you and when the facts and testimony and the record don't support that, we seem to move on to the next, you know, new allegation. one of the more recent ones is that republicans are claiming that because you received emails from sidney blumenthal, that he was your primary source for intelligence. now chairman body claimed that mr. blumenthal was, and i'm going to quote him here, quote, secretary clinton's primary advisor on libya because nearly half of all the emails sent to and from secretary clinton
regarding benghazi and libya, prior to the benghazi terrorist attacks involved sidney blumenthal, end quote. he also claimed that mr. blumenthal was, and i'm quoting again, one of the folks providing her the largest volume of information about libya. secretary clinton, was sidney blumenthal your primary policy advisor or your primary intelligence officer? >> of course not. >> was the primary source of information you were receiving on libya? >> no, absolutely not. >> can you tell us then who you were receiving information and in what form? this is particular emphasis on email communication and email communication only. >> well, as i testified earlier, i did not primarily conduct business on email with officials in our government. and, i think the emails that have been produced thus far demonstrate that as well. as i said, i got intelligence
briefings from the intelligence community. i had a very experienced group of senior diplomats who knew quite a bit about libya. deputy secretary bill burns had been our nation's top diplomat who actually had negotiated with qadaffi prior to the entering in by the united states to support our european allies and arab partners. i sent a team to meet with representatives of qadaffi to see if there were some way that he would back down and back off of his increasingly, his tear cool threats against his own people. we had people like the ambassador that i referenced earlier who had served in libya and had the occasion to observe and to meet with qadaffi. so we had a very large group of american diplomats, intelligence
officers, and, some private citizens who were experts in libya, who were available to our government and we took advantage of every person we could with expertise to guide our decision-making. >> so would it be fair to say that you received information from ambassador stevens? >> yes. >> the assistant secretary for near-eastern affairs? >> yes. >> the director of policy planning, jacob sullivan? >> yes. >> the national security council? >> yes. >> the intelligence community? >> yes. >> the defense department? >> yes. >> this weekend one of our colleagues on this panel, mr. pompeo went on "meet the ould cue up video. he had this exchange. can we please play the video clip? >> mr. blumenthal goes directly to the security issue. we see now that the former secretary relied on mr. blumenthal for most of her
intelligence. she was -- >> that is path wally not true. relied on mr. blumenthal for most of her intelligence. >> look at email trails. >> i cover the state department. that is factually not correct. >> that clip, for me, just defies all logic. i think andrea mitchell correctly called him out on something that was a falsehood. secretary clinton, when did you think when you heard that clip? >> well, that its with factually untrue. i think your questioning and what i have stated do is a much clearer and more factual description how we gathered information to make our decisions regarding libya. >> with your answer that you believe it to be factually incorrect i want to add "the washington post" fact checker immediatelied award that claim four pinocchios with which is the worst rating possible. i will quote the post on what they said about that quote. looking at her private emails is
just part of the picture and it ignores the vast amount of information, much of it classified that is available to the secretary of state. secretary clinton, would you agree with that statement from the "washington post"? >> yes, i would. >> okay. so it seems to me, you know, there have been allegations that the work that this committee has done has been political in nature, and that much of the facts have already been decided before all of the evidence is in, including your testimony here today. when i see clips likes that, it sort of supports the theory that this panel is not really interested in investigating what happened just prior to the evening of, and immediately in the aftermath of september 11th, 2012, that in fact there is another motive behind that. we have you here. so while you are here i want to make the most of your time and allow you to sort of debunk many of the myths that have been generated over the last 17 months, most of which have no factual basis for those being
said. win is that, you seemingly were disengaged the evening of september 11th, 2012, for example, mike huckabee accused you as mr. cummings said of ignoring the warning calls from dying americans in benghazi and senator rand paul stated that benghazi was a three a.m. phone call that you never picked up and senator lindsey graham tweeted where the hell were you on the night of benghazi attack? those appear to be based on the testimony of witnesses and documentation that we have obtained in this committee and other previous committees. they seem to run counter to the truth, because the testimony we've received states pretty much that you were deeply engaged the night of the attack. so can you describe for us what the initial hours of that night were like for you and how you learned about the attacks and what your initial thoughts and actions were? >> well, congresswoman, i learned about the attacks from a
state department official rushing into my office shortly after, or around 4:00, to tell me that our compound in benghazi had been attacked. we immediately summoned all of the top officials in the state department, for them to begin reaching out, the most important quick call was to try to reach chris himself. that was not possible. then to have the diplomatic security people try to reach their agents. that was not possible. they were obviously defending themselves along with the ambassador and sean smith. we reached the second-in-command in tripoli. he had heard, shortly before we reached him from chris stevens, telling him that they were under attack. we began to reach out to everyone we could possibly think who could help with this
terrible incident. during the course of the, you know, following hours obviously i spoke to the white house. i spoke to cia director petraeus. i spoke to the libyan officials because i hope there were some way that they could gather up and deploy those who had been part of the insurgency, to defend our compound. i had conference calls with our team in tripoli. i was on a, what is called a videoconference with officials who had operational responsibilities in the defense department, in the cia, at the national security council. it was just a swirl and whirl of constant effort to try to figure out what we could do, and, it was deeply, it was deeply distressing how, when we heard that the efforts by our cia
colleagues were not successful, that they had had to evacuate the security officers, our diplomatic security officers. that they had recovered sean smiths body and they could not find the ambassador, they didn't know whether he had escaped and was still alive or not? >> if i may, because my time is running short, i just want to point out, you spoke with folks on the ground. you spoke with folks in the white house, cia, the libyian president of the general national congress. now interestingly enough, former director of the cia david petraeus has not been before this committee and has not spoken with this committee but he did testify before the house intelligence committee in 2012, and he said thaw personally called him an asked him for then help that night. i want to end on this quote. quote, when secretary clinton called me later that afternoon to indicate that ambassador stevens was missing and asked
for help i directed our folks to insure we were doing everything possible, and that is of course what they were doing that night. is that correct? >> that is, and also the defense department was doing everything it could possibly do. we had a plane bringing additional security from tripoli to benghazi. there was an enormous amount of activity. everyone, i was all hands on deck. everyone jumped in to try to figure out what they could do. the attack on the very fast. >> so would it be safe to say you were fully engaged that evening? >> that is certainly safe to say, congresswoman. >> thank you. i yield back. >> gentlelady from california yields back. the chair would recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you just gave a long answer, madam secretary to miss sanchez what you heard that night and what you're doing but nowhere did you mention a video? you didn't mention a video because there was never video
inspired protest in benghazi. there was in choir row but not in benghazi. victoria nuland your spokesperson at state department hours after the attack said this, benghazi has been attacked by militants. in cairo police removed demonstrators. in benghazi you have weapons and explosions. cairo you have spray paint and rocks. one hour before the attack in benghazi, chris stevens walk as diplomat to the front gate. ambassador didn't report a demonstration. he didn't report it because it never happened. an eyewitness in the command center on the ground, said no protest, no demonstration. two intelligence reports that day, no protest, no demonstration. attack starts at 3:42 eastern time. ends at approximately 11:40 p.m. that night. at 4:069 ops alert foes out the state department. says this mission under attack. armed men. shots fired.
explosions heard. no mention of video. no mention of a protest. no mention of a demonstration. but the best evidence is get hicks, number two guy in libya the guy who worked side by side with ambassador stevens. he was asked if there was protest would mr. stevens reported it? mr. hicks response, absolutely. for demonstration on chris stevens front door and not reported it is is unbelievable, mr. hicks said. secondly if had been reported he would have been out the back door within minutes and there was a back gate. everything points to a terrorist attack. we just heard from mr. pompeo about the long history of terrorist incidents, terrorist violence in the country. and yet five days later, susan rice goes on five tv shows, and she says this. benghazi was a spontaneous reaction as a consequence of a video. statement we all know is false. but don't take my word for it. here is what others have said.
rice was off the reservation. off the reservation on five networks, white house worried about the politics. republicans didn't make those statements. they were made by the people who worked for you, in near eastern affairs bureau, the actual experts on libya in the state department. so, if there is no evidence for a video-inspired protest, where did the false narrative start? started with you, madam secretary. at 10:08 on night of the a tack you released this statement. some have sought to justify the vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on internet. at 10:08 with no evidence, at 10:08 before the attack is over, at 10:08 when tyrone woods and glen doherty are still on the roof of the annex fighting for their lives the official statement of the state department blames a video. why?
>> during the day on september 11th as you did mention, congressman, there was a very large protest against our embassy in cairo. protesters breached the walls. they tore down the american flag. and it was of grave concern to us because the inflammatory video had been shown on egyptian television which has a broader reach than just inside egypt. and if you look at, what i said, i referred to the video that night in a very specific way. i said some have sought to justify the attack because of the video. i used those words deliberately, not to ascribe a motive to every attacker but as a warning to those across the region, that there was no justification for
further attacks. and in fact, during the course of that week, we had many attacks that were all about the video. we had people breaching the walls of our embassies in tunis and khartoum. we had people actually, not americans, dying at -- >> secretary clinton? >> that is what is going on, congressman. >> i appreciate the most of the attacks were after the attack in facility in benghazi. mentioned cairo. interesting what else miss new land said that day. she said if pressed by the press, if there is connection between cairo and benghazi she said there, there is no connection between the two. so here's what troubles me. your experts knew the truth. your spokesperson. >> you the truth. greg hicks knew the truth. but what troubles me i think you knew the truth. i want to show you a few things here. you're looking at email you sent to your family. here is what you said. at 11:00 that night.
approximately one hour after you told the american people video you say to the family, two officers were killed today in benghazi by an al qaeda-like group. you tell, you tell the american people one thing. you tell your family an entirely different story. also. on the night of the attack, he had a call with the president of libya. here is what you said to him. ansar al-sharia is claiming responsibility. that is interesting. mr. khattalah, one of the guys arrested and charged actually belonged to that group. and finally, most significantly, the next day, within 24 hours, you had a conversation with the egyptian prime minister. you told him this. we know the attack in libya had nothing to do with the film. it was a planned attack, not a protest. let me read that one more time. we know, not we think, not it might be, we know that the
attack in libya had nothing to do with the film. it was anmad attack, not a protest. state department experts knew the truth. you knew the truth. but that is not what the american got. again, the american people want to know why. why didn't you tell the american people exactly what you told the egyptian prime minister? >> if you look at the statement i made i clearly said it was an attack and i also said there were some who tried to justify on basis, on basis of the video, congressman. and i think -- >> real quick. called it attack like saying the sky is blue. of course it was an attack. >> well -- >> we want to know the truth. the statement you sent out was a statement on benghazi and you say vicious behavior in response to inflorida forematerial on internet. if that is not pointing motive to video that is certainly what it is. that is certainly how the american people saw it. >> well, congressman, there was a lot of conflicting information that we were trying to make
sense of. the situation was very fluid, it was fast-moving. there was also a claim of responsibility by ansar al sharia. and when i talked to the egyptian prime minister, i said, that this was a claim of responsibility by ansar al-sharia. by a group that was affiliated or at least wanted to be affiliated with al qaeda. sometime after that, next day, early the next morning after that, you said on the 12th or 13th they retracted their claim ever responsibility. >> madam secretary -- >> i think if you look what all of us were trying to do we were in a position congressman, trying to make sense of a lot of incoming information. watch the way the intelligence community tried to make sense of it. >> madam secretary -- there was not conflict -- there was not conflicting information the day of the attack because your press secretary said, if pressed, there is no connection between cairo and benghazi. it was clear. you're the ones who muddied it
up. not the information. >> there is no connection -- >> here is what i think is going on. here is what i think is going on let me show you one more slide. again, this is from victoria. >> you land, yourdvictoria nuland. says to jake sullivan. subject line reads this, romney statement on libya. email says, this is what ben was talking about. assume ben is now somewhat famous ben rhodes, author of the talking points memo. this is email at 10:35, 27 minutes after your 10:08 statement. 27 minutes you told everyone that the video, while americans are still fighting because the attack is still going on, your top people are talking politics. seems to me that night you had three options, secretary. you could tell the truth, like you did with your family, like you did with libyan president, like you did with the egyptian
prime minister. tell them it was terrorist attack. could you say, you know what? we're not quite sure. don't really know for sure. i don't think the evidence is there. i think all -- you could have done that. but you picked a third option. you picked the video narrative. you picked one with no evidence, and you did it because libya was supposed to be, as mr. roskam pointed out, this great success story for the obama white house and clinton state department. and a key campaign theme that year was, bin laden is dead, al qaeda is on the run, and you have terrorist attack. it is terrorist attack in libya. it is 56 days before an election. you could live with protest about a video. that won't hurt you. but a terrorist attack will. so you can't be square with the american people. tell your family it's a terrorist at that time being. but not the american people, and tell the president of the libya
it is a terrorist attack but not the american people and you can tell the egyptian prime minister it is a terrorist attack but you can't tell your own people the truth. madam secretary, americans can live with the fact that good people, sometimes give their lives for this country. they don't like it. they mourn for those families. but and they pray for those families and they can live wit. what they can't take is when their government is not square with them. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> madam secretary you're welcome to answer the question if you would like to. >> well, i wrote a whole chapter about this in my book, "hard choices." i would be glad to send it to you, congressman, i think insinuations at that you are making do a grave disservice to the hard work that people in the state department, the intelligence community, the defense department, the
white house did during the course of some very confusing and difficult days. there is no doubt in my mind that we did the best we could with the information that we had at the time. and if you would actually go back and read what i said that night -- >> i have. >> i was very careful in saying that some have sought to justify -- in fact the man that has been arrested as one of the ringleaders of what happened in benghazi, khattalah is reported to have said, it was the video that motivated him. none of us can speak to the individual motivations of those terrorists who overran our compound. and who attacked our cia annex. there were probably a number of different motivations. i think the intelligence community, which took the lead on trying to sort this out, as they should have, went through a
series of interpretations and analysis. and we were all guided by that. we were not making up the intelligence. we were trying to get it, make sense of it and then to share it. when i was speaking to the egyptian prime minister or in the other two examples you showed, we had been told by ansar al sharia that they took credit for it. it wasn't until about 24 or more hours they retracted taking credit for it. >> secretary clinton? >> we also knew, congressman, my responsibility was for what was happening throughout the region. i needed to talk about the video because i needed to put other governments and other people on notice that we were not going to let them get away with attacking us as they did in tunis, as they did in khartoum. and in tunis, there were thousands of demonstrators who were there only because of the video, breaching the walls of
our embassy, burning down the american school. i was calling everybody in the tunisia ann government i could get. finally the president sent presidential guard to break it up. there were example after apple. that is what i was trying to do during those very desperate and very difficult hours. >> if i could, mr. chairman. secretary clinton, i'm not insinuating anything. i'm reading what you said, plain language. we know attack in libya had nothing to do with the film. that is plain as it can get. vastly different than vicious behavior justified by internet material. why didn't you just speak plain to the american pefple? >> i did. if you look at my statement, as opposed to what i was saying to the egyptian prime minister, i did state clearly and i said it again in more detail the next morning as did the president. i'm sorry it doesn't fit your narrative congressman. i can only tell you what the facts were and the facts as democratic members have pointed
out in their most recent collection of them, support this process that was going on where the intelligence community was pulling together information. and it's very much harder to do it these days than it used to be because you have to monitor social media, for goodness sakes. that is where the ansar al-sharia claim was placed. i think the intelligence community did the best job they could. we all did our best job to try to figure out what was going on. then to convey that to the american people. >> gentleman's time expired. chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. schiff. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, we're almost at the end of the first round of questions. i will have an opportunity then, i think the chairman will before we have a break just to let you know where we are in the scheme of things. so i want to take a moment to think about what we've covered in this first round. in particular, comment on where
this began with the chairman's statement. the chairman said, at the outset of hearing that the american people are entitled to the truth. the truth about what happened in benghazi. the truth about the security there. the truth about what happened after the attack. the implication of this of course is that the american people don't know the truth. that this is the first investigation we've ever had. the reality is we have had eight investigations. we've gone through this endlessly, and, if you just look at the documentary record, we have the arb report. we have the report of the armed services committee led by republican buck mckeon, which debunked the stand-down order allegations. we have the report of the committee on government reform. we have the report of the senate homeland security committee. we have the report of the house
foreign affairs committee. we have the gop conference's own report. we have the report of the intelligence committee which i serve. now bear in mind, these aren't, with their accompanying exhibits or classified stuff because it would be up through the ceiling if i included them. this is the report of our committee. this is what $4.7 million of taxpayer money buy you. this is what 17 months of investigation have shown. now, the chairman said and he is a very good lawyer and a good former prosecutor. we have a lot of former prosecutors here on the panel. he gave you a great recitation of number of witnesses and number of documents. there are too many good prosecutors on this panel not to know when a lawyer describes the metrics of the success of an investigation by the sheer number of people they have talked to, or the volume of
documents, that says nothing about the substance of what they have learned that there's a problem. and reality is that after 17 months, we have nothing new to tell the families. we have nothing new to tell the american people. we have not discovered nothing that alters the core conclusions of the eight investigations that went on before. now, my colleagues have been saying quite often this week, with amazing regularity, this is fact-centric investigation. and i agree. so i would like to talk about some of the facts which are centric to this investigation because while the american people are entitled to truth about benghazi, they're also entitled to truth about our committee. fact. what gave rise to your appearance here today was many months ago a group called the stop hillary pac which aired an offensive ad during the democratic debate showing the
tombstone of a ambassador stevens among other things, delivered 264,000 signatures demanding that you appear before us. fact, it was the next day the majority approached us to have you come before this committee. fact, after "the new york times" issued its story in march, this committee canceled all other hearings except for the hearing with a witness named clinton. fact, we abandoned our plans to bring in the secretary of defense and the head of the cia. fact, we haven't had a single hearing from the department of defense, with the department of defense in 17 months. fact, of the 70,000 pages of documents obtained by the select committee, the only documents chairman has chosen to release publicly are your emails with sidney blumenthal. fact, of the 32 press releases
that have been issued since march of this year, 27 of them are about you, or the state department and five are about everything else. fact, as recently as last week the chairman issued a 13-page letter which alleges that you risked lives of people by sending an email that contained the name of a classified cia source. fact, cia told us there was nothing in that email was classified, nor was the name of that person who's well-known to many. the chairman has said that this will be the final, definitive report. one thing i think we can tell already. there will be nothing final about this report. whenever we finish be if ever we finish the problem as a committee we don't know what we're looking for. but there won't be a final
conclusion. there won't be anything differenttive about the work of this committee because unlike the accountability review board, that operated in a non-partisan way, it is unlikely majority here will even cult -- consult with us on their final report. those that want to believe with the worse will believe the worse. those that want to believe this is partisan exercise will believe it. the only way this committee will add any value what is going on before if we can find a way to work together to reach a common conclusion. it is plain that is not their object. the chairman might say, ignore the words of our republican leadership and ignore the words of our republican members. ignore the words of our own gop investigator. judge us by our actions but it is actions of this committee are the most damning of all. because they have been singularly focused on you.
let me ask you briefly, because i want to expand on just the, what i think is really the core theory here. i want to give you a chance to respond to it. as a prosecutor we're taught every case should have a core theory and all evidence and witnesses go back to that core theory. i have wrist he willed as i listened to my colleagues today as i have over the last 17 months. what the core theory of their case? what are they trying to convoy -- convey? i have to say i think it is confusing. the i think the core theory thaw deliberately interfered with security in benghazi and that resulted in people dying. i think that is the case they want to make. notwithstanding how many investigations we have found absolutely no merit that is the impression they wish to give. i'm a little confused today, bus my colleague pointed to email that you weren't aware we had presence in benghazi. if you weren't aware we had presence i don't know how you could interfere with security there.
nonetheless i do think that's what they're aiming at. i know the ambassador was someone you helped pick. i know the ambassador was a friend yours. and i wonder, if you would like to comment on what it's like to be subject of an allegation that you deliberately interfered with the security that cost the life of a friend? >> well, congressman, it is a very personally painful. accusation. it has been rejected and disproven by non-partisan, dispassionate investigators, but nevertheless, having it continue to be bandied around is deeply distressing to me. you know, i have would imagine i thought more about what happened than all of you put together. i have lost more sleep than all of you put together. i have been racking my brain about what more could have been done, or should have been done.
and so, when i took responsibility, i took it as as a challenge and obligation to make sure before i left the state department that what we could learn as i'm sure my predecessors did after beirut and after nairobi and after all the other attacks on our facilities, i'm sure all of them, republican and democrat alike, especially where there was loss of american life, said, okay, what must we do better? how do we protect the men and women that we send without weapons, without support, from the military, into some of the most dangerous place notice world? and so i will continue to speak out and do everything i can from whatever position i'm in, to
honor the memory of those we lost, and to work as hard as i know to try to create more understanding and cooperation between the state department, our diplomats, our development professionals from usaid, and the congress so that the congress is a partner with us. as was the case in previous times. i would like us to get back to those times, congressman, whereas i think one of you said, beirut, we lost far more americans, not once, but twice within a year. there was no partisan effort. people rose above politics. a democratic congress worked with a republican administration to say what do we need to learn. out of that came the legislation for the accountability review
board. similarly after we lost more americans in the bombings in east africa, again, republicans and democrats worked together, said, what do we need to do better? so i'm, i'm an optimist, congressman. i'm hoping that that will be the outcome of this. and every other effort, so that we really do honor not only those we lost but all those who right as we speak are serving in dangerous places representing the values and the interests of the american people. >> thank you, madam secretary. >> gentleman from california yields back. i'm going to address a couple of things that he said and recognize myself because he invoked the family members ever the four, madam secretary and partially this will be for your benefit also but i want to specifically address the family members that are here. there is no theory of the prosecution, mr. schiff, because there is no prosecution.
there is a very big difference between a prosecution where you already have reached a conclusion and you're just trying to prove it to people. this is an investigation. which is why it is so sad that nowhere in that stack that you just put up there where the emails of secretary clinton, the e-mails of the ambassador, 50,000, 50,000 pages worth of documents, eyewitnesses that is the real tragedy. to the pham and the friends, when you're told that there have been seven previous investigations and an arb, you should immediately ask, why did you miss so many witnesses? why did you miss so many documents? this is not a prosecution, mr. schiff. you and i are both familiar with them. i have reached no conclusions. i would advise you not to reach any conclusions either until we reach the end. there are 20 more witnesses, so i'll agree not to reach any conclusions if you will do the same. with that, madam, secretary, regardless of where he ranked in the order of advisors, it is
undisputed that a significant number of your emails were to or from sidney blumenthal. he did not work for the state department. he didn't work for the u.s. government at all. he wanted to work for the state department but the white house said, no to him. do you recall who specifically at white house rejected sidney blumenthal?