tv The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson FOX News October 22, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
stephen volunteered, knew this was risky. his choice matter and we'll see how that plays out for her as we continue to watch the coverage. >> he's also asking for more security. stay with fox for the latest. >> thanks for staying with us. the great deal story with gretchen starts now. hillary clinton getting grilled on capitol hill. this is the real story on a very important day. former secretary of state giving her long awaited testimony before the house select committee on benghazi. as well as the administration's response to those attacks. chief congressional correspondent mike emmanuel live for us on capitol hill. what were some of the feistier moments from the first session. >> reporter: there's been focus on the narrative at the benghazi attack blaming it on an internet
video. then there was this exchange. >> at 11:00 that night, approximately one hour after you told the american people, you say to your family, two officers were killed today in benghazi by an al qaeda-like group. you tell the american people one thing. you tell your family an entire different story. >> i think if you look at the statement that i made, i clearly said it was an attack and i also said that there were some who tried to justify on the basis of video congressman and i think it -- >> real quick. >> calling it an attack is like saying the sky was blue. of course it was an attack. >> reporter: days later you had susan rice go out on the talk shows blaming it on the internet video. jordan using some of hillary clinton's e-mails to say what you're saying to the public didn't match up with what you were saying to your family. >> what does have to say about the actual incident in benghazi?
>> she sounded sympathetic about the four americans lost. >> if you ask our most experienced ambassadors, they'll tell you they can't do their jobs for us from bunkers. it would compounds the tragedy of benghazi if chris stephens death and the death of other three americans ended up undermining the work to which he and they devoted their lives. we have learned the hard way when america is absent, especially from unstable places, there are consequences. extremism takes root, aggressors seek to fill the vacuum and security everywhere is threatened. >> reporter: there were references to hundreds of requests made by ambassador
stephens for additional security. some were honored and fulfilled, some were not. diplomats have to operate out in field, not in bunkers. we expect some more this afternoon about her colleague, her aid and his e-mails. it was a feisty moment right before the break. >> no doubt. thank you. joining us now, anchor of special report. i know you want to focus on that jim jordan's exchange with mrs. clinton in how she called it one thing in family members that it was an al qaeda-like blamed it on the video with the american public. >> that was the most interesting thing so far, a new piece of info. this e-mail went out at 11:12 p.m. that night. at 10:32 secretary clinton issues statement through the state department saying deploring violence in response
to inflammatory material posted on the internet. at 11:12, she said two people died because of this al qaeda-like attack. everyone knew it was an attack. there was no protest that happened in front of the consulate there. according to tyrone woods father, she told him, they were going to do everything they can to get the person who made the video and punish him. that felt like the familiartina that the administration was playing after this. this e-mail is new. >> i want to bring our attention to somethings the chair of this select committee that he pointed out towards the end of this
first session where he was talking about how hillary clinton had taken off the name of her close friend who she was getting information from, she took off that name before she forwarded that information to the white house. listen to this. >> if you were going to pass something on to the white house, why would you take off the identifiers? >> because it was important to evaluate the information and from a lot of intelligence that i've reviewed over the years, you often don't have the source of thel)ñ intelligence. you look at the intelligence and you try to determine whether or not it's credible, whether it can be followed up on be. >> i'm going to accept the fact that you and i come from different backgrounds. an unsourced comment could never be uttered in courtroom. >> we're not talking about courtrooms. we're talking about intelligence. >> we're talking about credibility and the ability to assess who is a source is.
>> the interesting thing is would she want that name sydney bloomingthal off the e-mails because she requested to possibly have him as an employee and the white house said no. >> exactly right. the fact she said the author of the intel that he was passing onto her didn't matter is quite something to pass it on in circles, including the white house when talking about libya policy. it's important to note that it took three hours but the narrative now from democrats and from some of the media is this hearing is all about sydney bloomingthal and it's a rabbit hole of a small piece of the e-mail conversation she had. the important thing here is that sydney bloomingthal had access outside of the government and was he influencing libya policy. was he interacting with
secretary clinton when ambassador chris stephens didn't have any e-mail exchanges with clinton and his request for security before the attack went unanswered by her state department that she says she never saw. >> that was shocking to find out today that chris stephens did not have hillary clinton's personal e-mail. that was shocking based on the fact she knew him well and sheú was in a troubled time in libya. >> let me ask you this, so far from what you've heard, is there any smoking gun? >> i think the jim jordan e-mail was new. it does present a problem for the set up, the tick tock of what they've tried to explain. the fact hillary clinton said she did not know of any incoming threats prior to the benghazi attack will be challenged. it will be a lot of fact checking out this and a lot of accusations this is a political witch hunt.
i think this afternoon you may see some more things that are new that open people's eyes to some different things. as far as a smoking gun, i don't think you're ever going to get that out of this hearing. >> thanks for your insight. hillary clinton making it clear that ambassador chris stephens killed in attack was aware of all the security risks. >> i don't care if you sent it by morse code, carrier pigeons, the fact he sent it by e-mail is irreleva irrelevant. he was sending information to secretary of state. with respect to the subpoena if he bothered to answer the telephone calls he wouldn't have neede$!ég a subpoena. >> would the gentleman yield? >> i'll be happy to. >> that's exactly what i want to do. >> i move that we put into the record the entire transcript of
sydney bloomingthal. let's do the transcript that way the world can see it. >> nobody flew the dangers of libya better. weak government, extremist groups, rampant instability. chris chose to go to benghazi because he understood america had to be represented there at that pivotal time. >> ambassador stephens wasn't the only to die in the attack. three others were killed. sean smith's uncle joins me now. great to have you back on the program. we heard mrs. clinton saying that chris stephens and your nephew also knew about the dangers before they went there. does that take away any sort of responsibility that she or the state department are had to make sure that they were kept as safe
as possible especially when e-mailing about increased security need for more than a year. >> exactly. in the sense that i'mfb sure m nephew, sean and ambassador stephens were aware of the dan dangers but i'm sure they expected to have their backs covered. she should be ashamed. >> it was one of more shocking moments of hearings. at least we know she tells her family the truth.
we know she's forts coming. as far as telling the american public and the families of these victims a boldface lie, why? why were they trying to lay it out on the video? i'll tell you why. my theory, we're in an election year. we were two months away from the election. we may have different president in 2012. michael, thank you for your time today. >> my pleasure. >> we will have continuing coverage. it looks like some people are coming back into the room now. testimony set to begin a couple moments from now. we'll bring that to you live when the real story continues.
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i see daily updates. sometimes hourly updates from your staff about benghazi and chris stephens. when i look at this pile in 2012, i only see a handful of e-mails to you from your senior staff about benghazi and i have several questions. they knew to send you important information. issues that were of importance to you. i can only conclude, by your own records, there was a lack of interest in libya in 2012. >> that was congresswoman susan brooks questioning hillary
clinton. i should alert our viewers it looks as if this will reconvene. let me try to get in couple questions to you.=(> we saw the congresswoman showing the disparity in the number of e-mails, the attention given to benghazi in 2011 versus 2012. what did you make of that? >> i thought it was interesting. the core of this conversation is different than the typical scandals we have seen the clintons deal with. i don't think the american people are surprised that the clintons hide certain details and things of that nature. this one is about competency. these raise questions about the level of engagement mrs. clinton had. who she was listening to regarding what was going on there. she seemed to have plenty of
access with bloomingthal but when it came to chris stephens, he didn't have her personal e-mail. >> the congresswoman showed the disparity in te mail is how do we know that committee had seen all the e-mails? >> they probably haven't. i think the realwómññ test of a this will not be what happens today but can in the final report that the benghazi committee comes up, can they move the needle. can they show us more information. if he can move the needle and
express new interest, hats off to him. >> there's two more sessions to come and he promised more information about the communications with sydney it was feisty before we went to break. i thought it was surprising that mrs. clinton said she didn't have a computer in her state department office. what did you make of that? >> it's interesting. she had plenty of other personal devices. many of which have security questions with them. the idea that she conducted most of her business away from e-mail is fine. plenty of people do that. there's all sorts of other questions that emerge. >> thanks so much. let's go back life to the hearing. >> those in favor my signify by saying aye. >> aye. >> those opposed by saying no. >> no. >> recorded vote has been
>> mr. smith. >> aye. >> mr. smith votes aye. >> mr. shift. >> aye. >> ms. sanchez. >> aye. >> miss duckworth. >> aye. >> miss duckworth votes aye. >> clerk will report.9 yay is five. no is eight. >> the motion is not agreed to. madame secretary. >> my apology, sir. it was seven. >> motion still not agreed to. >> even south carolina math can
figure that out. >> madame secretary, before we broke there was a question asked that i thought was fair question which is why was i talking about mr. bloomingthal's e-mails. i think it's fair question. i think it's equally fair to ask why you were reading mr. bloomingthal's e-mails? i think both are fair. i want to go to june of 2012 which is an interesting time period to look at. charlene lamb was an employee of the state department. it's tab 56. i'm not going to read it. it's tab 56 where she described benghazi as a soft target. attacked on americans not staffed adequately. it's a very haunting e-mail to ee months to the day when our four fellow citizens were killed. that's on june 7th, 2012.
also on june 7th of 2012, your deputy chief of staff is e-ma e-mailing ambassador stephens asking him to look at an e-mail. he writes, chris checking in with you on this report. any reactions? that's on exactly the same day that the our ambassador papers were accepted. it's the day after an ied attack on our compound and chris stephens is being asked to read and react to an e-mail by sydney bloomingthal from your deputy chief of staff. this is what he's writing on the 7th. this is after he's turned down on a request for more security. this is our ambassador.
appreciate you giving this proposal more consideration even if the conclusion is not favorable for us. i've got this contrast in my mind. ambassador is newly in place. it's day after an attack on our facility. your deputy chief of staff is sending him an e-mail from sydney asking him to take time to read and react to it. then the best of my recollection that's forwarded to you. help us understand how sydney bloomingthal had that kind of access to you but the ambassador did not. >> i think your question does help to clarify matters.
chris stephens e-mailed regularly with jake sullivan, one of my closest a)y i think it's important to recognize that when an ambassador is at post overseas especially one as experienced as chris stephens, he knows where to pull the levers, where to go for information, where to register concerns. i think he did exactly as one might have expected. he dealt with security issues through dealing with the security professionals who were the ones making the assessments. i think that ambassadork2
understood completely that's where the experts were and anything he requested or anything he was questioning should be directed. >> speaking of exports, who is victoria newland? >> a very experienced diplomat. she served as our ambassador to nato appointed by george w. bush. she served as one of the advisors as a foreign service officer delegated to the white house for vice president cheney. she served as the spokesperson for the state department during my tenure and she's currently the assistant secretary for europe under secretary kerry. >> she wrote this to the ambassador on june 13th, 2012. that's a week after the facility was attacked. it is only a handful of days after he was turned down on a request, specific request, for more security. chris, i know you have your
hands full but we'd like your advice about public messaging on the violence in libya over the past ten days. she's asking him for help with public messaging, jake sullivan, which is the other half of the question that i don't think we got to. i understand chris stephens was a rule followers. i've got fno qualms. my question is not why chris stephens didn't contact you but why did jake sullivan send chris stephens a sydney bloomingthal e-mail to read and react to on a day after the facility was attacked. instead of e-mail traffic back and forth about security it's read and react to a bloomingthal e-mail. >> i think any ambassador would say they handled a lot of incoming information and
requests. some of it was about what happening in country, some of it was about what was happening in the united states. chris felt strongly that the united states needed to remain in and committed to libya. part of the discussion with him and jake sullivan and others is how do we best convey what the stakes the united states has in staying involved in libya would be. >> let me share my perspective. if you need to take time to read a note. i'm happy to pause. >> no.
i'm being reminded which is important. chris spent the vast majority of his time in tripoli, not in benghazi. fully time you're trying to figure out what's the best argument to make, especially if you're someone like chris stephens trying to put together mangds the best argument about why the united states should remain committed to libya and others as well, he's going to engage in conversations about that. >> with respect, no matter what city he was in in libya, having to stop and provide public messaging advice to your press shop and having to read and respond to an e-mail sent by sydney bloomingthal, it doesn't matter what town you're in. he needed security help.
he didn't need help messaging the violence. he needed help with the violence. you have said several times this morning that you had people and processes in place. i want to ask you about an e-mail that was sent to you by another one of your aides. that would be exhibit 70 in your folder. she e-mailed you that the people needed gasoline, diesel and milk. do you know how long it took you to respond to that e-mail? >> well, i responded to it very quickly. >> four minutes. >> my question, i think it's fair one. the libyan people had their needs responded to directly by you in four minutes. there is no record of our security folks ever even making it to your inbox.
if you had people and processes in place for security, did you not also have people in processes and place for medicine, gasoline, diesel, milk? >> i've said it before, i will say it again. i'll say it as many times as is necessary to respond. chris stephens communicated regularly with the members of my staff. he did not raise security with the members of my staff. i communicated with limb about certain issues. he did not raise security with me. he raised security with the security professionals. i know that's not the answer you want to hear because it's being asked in many different ways by committee members. those are the facts, mr. chairman. ambassadors in the field are engaged in many different tasks. they are basically our chief representative of the president of the united states. they deal with everything from
foreign aid to security to dealing with the personal requests for visas that come from people in the country they are assigned to. chris stephens had regular contact with members of my staff and he did not raise security issues. some of it may have been because despite what was implied earlier, there was a good back many of the requests that came from embassy tripoli, both for tripoli and benghazi were acted on affirmatively. others were not. it would be unlikely to get every one of your requests
answered immediately. he had request contact with my aids. he did not raise security with me. >> with all due respect those are two different issues. who had access to him is one issue and who has access to you is another issue. you had people in place for people who want to inquire about milk and diesel fuel and gasoline. you also have people in processes in place for people who want to provide insults toward folks you work with in the administration. all of that made it districtly into your inbox. that is my question.
you had mentioned on a nurmg of occasions today. this was not the first. we had one after kenya and tanzan tanzania. that could not have been more specific. the secretary of state should personally review the security situation of our embassy facilities. that arb put the responsibility squarely on you. with respect to that previous arb recommendation, and in contrast what did make your inbox versus what did not, did you personally review our security situation as the previous arb required? >> well let me see if i can answer the many parts of your question, mr. chairman. yes, personal e-mail came to my
personal account. work rep labted e-mail did as well. i also relied on a number of i said i will repeat chris stephens communicated with a number of people that i worked with on a daily basis in the state department. so far as i know, he did not raise any issue of security with any of those people. he raised it where he knew it would be properly addressed. if he had raised it with me, i would be hear telling you he had. he did not. i think it's important to try to separate out the various elements of your question. i have said before, and i will
repeat again, syd was not my advisor, official or unofficial. he was not involved in any of the meetings, conversations, other efforts to obtain information in order to act on it. on occasion i did forward what he sent me to make sure it was in the mix. if it was useful, it could be put to use. i believe in response to the e-mail you pointed out originally from ambassador stephens, he said it rang true and was worth looking into. he was not my advisor. he was not an official of the united states government. he was not passing on official information. he, like a number of my friends that would hand me a newspaper article, buttonhole me at a resipr reception and say what about this or that.
some of it was. a will the of it wasn't. >> i recognize the gentle lady from california. when the chairman finally got a chance to question you, he asked you, he quibbled over the definition of the word unsolicited. then he doubled down on the idea that sydney bloomenthal was your primary advisor. he spent full questioning time asking you about the clinton foundation, media matters and
other topics that don't really have anything to do with the attacks occurred in benghazi. is this why we've asked you to come to testify about that. the overwhelming sense i get from the republican side of the aisle is they seem to be arguing that sydney bloomingthal had access to you while ambassador stephens did not. do you think that's an accurate statement? >> of course not. you didn't need my e-mail address to get my attention. most of the work i did, as i said this morning had nothing to do with my e-mails. it had to do with the kind of meetings and materials that were provided to me through those who were responsible for making decisions on a whole range of issues. as i just told the chairman, if ambassador stephens had grave concerns that he wanted raised
with me, he certainly knew how to do that. sgr did he ever ask you for your e-mail address and you turn him down? >> no. >> they're arguing there was this -- security was sort of decomposing in eastern libya. no security improvements were ever made to the benghazi out post. that's not a true statement, is it? >> no, it's not. >> there were many security that were made although there were other requests that were made that were not fulfilled, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> over the course of this investigation republicans have repeatedly asked why the u.s. was still in benghazi on the night of the attack.
during the select committee's first hearing which was more than a year ago the chairman posed the following question. we know the risk of being in benghazi. tell us what our policy was in libya that overcame the risks. in other words, why were we there? the accountability review board answered the question. it plain splained benghazi was the largest city in eastern libya. further went onto say the rebel led transitional council declared tripoli would offerúbd libya many of the players and remained based in benghazi. the arb went onto explain that ambassador stephens advocated for u.s. presence in benghazi.
did you give his opinions a lot of weight and respect. >> do you recall him advocated for continued u.s. presence, specifically in benghazi? >> yes, he did.$hv úp &h(lc% >> in fact, ambassador stephens e-mails, which this committee had for more than a year confirmed what you stated. i would ask consent to enter this document into the record and it's being passed out for members of the committee. >> without objection. >> i understand this e-mail is not one you've seen before as it was not addressed or sent to you, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> in the e-mail before you he wrote this proposal fr continued presence in benghazi. option b was a virtual presence with zero full time staff in
benghazi. special envoy stephens sent this to jean chris, then ambassador to libya. at the time they had a combined 83 years of foreign service experience. would the recommendation of this team be given fair amount of weight in this department? >> it would. >> is that the way it should work? >> they did to me. i think that should be the practice. >> in the same e-mails special envoy stephen states what my personal recommendation would be option a, which is the option for a slim down compounds. he notes a few key rationals for wanting to stay.
the revolution began in eastern libya and the view of these two million will influence events going forward. do you agree with ambassador stephens view there was important reasons to have a presence in benghazi despite the risks? >> yes, i do. >> other documents show ambassador stephens continued to advocate for continued u.s. presence once he became ambassador to libya. two weeks before the attack he was working on a proposal for a permanent presence. a permanent branch office in benghazi to provide a permanent platform to protect u.s. national security interests in the region and promote a stronger, healthier bilateral relationship with the new, free and democratic libya.
he worked with his counter parts to try to manage that risk as best they could. stability and security are profoundly lacking and government support is minimal to nonexistent. this is such a difficult issue, the balancing of interests. who do you best ensure we're striking the right balance going forward? >> thank you for that question. i do think that's what we should be talking about. several of you have posed similar questions.
i think you do start with the best expert and experienced advice that you can get. as you point out chris stephens never recommendsed that we close benghazi. he advocated for keeping it open. obviously, you have to constantly do this balancing act that i referred to earlier today. the cia did not have any plans to close their facility.
we should not leave benghazi. it's obviously something that you have to be constantly evaluating. >> was it your understanding he understood the risks of being there? >> he definitely understood the risks, yes. >> thank you. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. chair will recognize the gentle lady from indiana. >> i'd like to ask you a bit about your decision making and the discussions you had as it related to how long the benghazi
mission, itself, was going to last. i'm putting up map just because most of us really don't flow much about libya, don't know much about the geography of libya. i don't think most people really realize. i want to share with you that we know from my last round that chris stephens went into benghazi in april of 2011. i want to talk to you about what happened the rest of that year. just because there was a lot going on i thought it was helpful to have this map. by mid-july our government formally recognized the tnc as the official government of libya replacing the government. tnc was placed in benghazi at that time. in august, after the kadafi government fell, kadafi left tripoli and he went into hiding. once that happened the tnc moved
their benghazi headquarters over to tripoli. in september we reopened our embassy in tripoli and ambassador crest returned. does it sound like an accurate summary of the summer of 2011? >> it does sound accurate except i'm not sure exactly the duration of ambassador stephen's presence in benghazi during the months. >> that leads to my next question. what was your plan for the mission in the fall of 2011 and going forward? what were the discussions you had and who did you have those discussions with about the mission of benghazi going forward in 2011? >> as you may have heard, the e-mail that congresswoman sanchez introduced into the
record was from the fall of 2011. there was quite a discussion going on between officials in the state department and int intelligence community in washington and libya about the path forward. it had been based in benghazi. as some were hoping predomina predominantly but not exclusively in benghazi. this was a live subject that was being debated both in libya and with respect to our response in washington.
we wanted to maintain a presence in benghazi in some form. we reopened our embassy in tripoli. that's why this e-mail is so informative. >> thank you. i'll get to that in a moment. i assume your chief of staff was intimately involved in these discussions with you and with your top staff. she's one of your staff as you were referring to them, is that right? >> she covered a broad range of issues. i'm sure she was involved in some of the discusses. she had many other responsibilities. i can't say all of them. >> i'd like to refer you to an update on tripoli operations provided to cheryl mills on
september 14th. transition to january 2012, no consulate. no consulate met no consulate in benghazi. this was in september. would that be fair and accurate? and would you -- were in that briefing with ms. mills or did she brief you about the fact in september the became plan -- the game plan was to shut down benghazi and. >> you have to look at that in context, congresswoman. there was not an active plan for a consulate in benghazi at any point during this period. that's what the compound in benghazi was. i was a temporary facility. placed there to help us make a determination as to what we would need going forward in benghazi, and there -- >> excuse me, mat dam
secretary -- >> -- that chris stevens and others made evictimly three we back consulate but never an agreement to have a consulate. >> itself had been deemed a consulate it would have a different level of security than a temporary mission compound. >> well, we -- >> had certain levels of securities. there are standards and parole cals. when it's a consulate it gets a certain level of security. >> that's the hoped-for outcome. that's not what happens in the very beginning in many places, especially the hot spots and conflict areas where a consulate is stood up. >> can you talk with me about the decision, then, -- there is a briefing with respect to -- after the closing, rather, of the consulate in benghazi by january of 2012, we know it didn't close. you went to tripoli in october of 2011.
ambassador crist was there. how howe about chris stevens. >> did he come to see you when you went for the big trip in october? >> i don't recall if he did or not. this was about ambassador creps and ambassador creps is the person we were meeting with. >> what was your purpose for meeting with ambassador c. >> ambassador crest was our ambassador. he had been our ambassador, and then, because he reported very accurately about what he observed recording gadhafi's and gadhafi's heavenmen when wick wikileaks disclosed cables and the cables're publicized talking critically about gadhafi, he was subjected to threats and we took him out and
did not close the embassy at that time. so he had returned to finish out his time, and we were in the process of moving him to another assignment and nominating chris stevens to replies him. >> but you didn't -- you didn't talk to christy ven -- >> while i was in libya i don't recall that. we consult it with him as for the trip. we were trying very hard to get the people in positions of authority at that time in libya, and let us work with them on everything from border security to collecting weapons and trying to disarm the militias. he had a lot of business we were doing with them. >> so going back to miss sanchez's e-mail it talks about option a, slimming down the compound, and so he weighed in on -- in october he was weighing
in on whether or not the compound should stay open but i'd like to direct your attention to an e-mail that is at tab 4, dated december 15th december 15th from chris stevens, and i might add for the record, we do not, still to this day, have all of chris stevens' e-mails. we received 1300 more this week, we received most of them last week. we don't have the universe yet of ambassador stevens' e-mails, but he e-mailed to a reporting of, officer: interesting, has security improved in benghazi in recent works? also curious what you guys decided to do regarding future of the compound.9uyñ he was in washington, dc or back in the states during that time, and in december, ambassador stevens, your soon to be ambassador, didn't know what was going to happen with the compound in benghazi? how is that possible? >> well, congresswoman, one of
the great attributes that chris stevens had was a really good sense of humor, and i see him smiling as he is typing this because it is clearly in response to the e-mail down below, talking about picking up a few, quote, fire sale items fr^jq britts -- >> those fire sale items are barricades -- >> that's right. >> additional -- >> that's right. >> -- requests for security for the compound. >> that's right. >> that's what the fire sale was, because we weren't providing enough physical security for the compound. isn't that right? so they're picking up a fire sale because other consulates are pulling out. other countries are pulling out. >> that showed they're entrepreneurial spirit and i applaud them for doing. so we did respond to a number of the security requests. the physical security requests. the posters that were up earlier this morning were only about the
number of diplomatic security personnel. you're talking about physical barriers, physical additions to the compound. there were quite a few of those that were undertaken. >> how is it that mr. stevens did not know in december whether or not the compound was going to remain open? >> well, are you -- >> or do you think that was 0 joke? >> i think if it about not an example of his sense of humor, as part of the ongoing discussion about benghazi's future, which he went to lengths to describe what he thought should be done, a lot of it was trying to decide, could we afford it? maintain it? what did we need to have there? so, yes there was an ongoing discussion, and i think he knew he was going to be in line to go to tripoli and he wanted to know exactly what the decision was going to be about the compound. he had weighed in, not only in that e-mail but numerous
discussions with his colleagues back at the state department. >> finally, secretary clinton, we know that compound, the benghazi mission, was extended for yet another year because that same month your benghazi point person here in washington, jeffgszxh feldman, sent a memo wanting to extend benghazi through 2012 and sent it to undersecretary patrick kennedy who approved it. another high level official, state department, has given us none of undersecretary patrick kennedy's e-mails yet. same with jeffrey feldman, very high level officials within the state department. are you familiar with that memo sent on december 27th entitle "future of operations in benghazi, libya? "? >> no -- >> feldman discussed that memo with you at the time and discussed stepping the mission in benghazi in december of '11. >> i'm familiar there was an ongoing discussion about the
future of the mission in benghazi -- >> a discussion between whom, ma'am? >> between all of the relevant officials in the state department. >> tell -- >> well, general feldman was juan of them, chris stevens. but there were many others who had information and experiment tease to ad to expertise to add to and it there was a recommendation that benghazi be continued through 2012, as part of the continuing evaluation of whether or what we wanted to have on a mow permanent basis in benghazi. >> do you recall, were you in those discussions? were you specifically in those meetings? you have shared that you didn't do a lot by e-mail and you had more meet examination briefings. were you the meetings about extending benghazi through the end of the year? >> therewere certainly meetingsn which i was advised about the process being undertaken as to determine whether benghazi should be extended. so yes, i was aware of the
process that as ongoing and i was kept up to date about it. >> were there any minutes -- >> gentle lady's time has expired. chair now recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. smith. >> just want to clarify. ambassador stevens had access to you. >> yes, he did. >> in fact, as we here -- i don't have the name in front of me but ambassador in russia said that -- always had access to you always had constant communication with you, never had your e-mail address. i would hope that ambassadors would have more direct and immediate lines of communication, and ambassador stevens certainly did. >> yes. >> correct? and also did ambassador stevens ever advocate either leaving libya or abandoning benghazi? >> the contrary, congressman. he was a very strong advocate for staying in libya, including in benghazi.
>> i think what we learned here is -- well, nothing, frankly. that we didn't know already. the security situation in libya was dangerous. >> right. >> without question. would you say that ambassador stevens was unaware of any aspect of that? >> no, would not. i think he was very aware. >> he knew the security situation in libya quite well. >> that's right. >> yet, i want to be clear on this. in hisomsn÷ communications with, and he had many, even if he didn't have your e-mail address -- did he ever say, you know -- did he raise the security issue directly with you? >> no, he did not. >> and obviously he chose to go to benghazi. he, as you have described earlier, as, all across the world today, diplomats are weighing the risks and the benefits in a lot of dangerous places, and he had to do that. and he chose to go to