tv MSNBC Live MSNBC June 28, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PDT
through everything in this report but let's show you what it looks like if you print this out in full. this is what 800 pages of the benghazi report looks like. we printed out the top two pages. the rest is clean paper. we weren't going to take down a tree since we could pull it up on our computer but we'll show you what's being done if this report is being distributed in full. democrats are slamming it as a taxpayer-funded partisan witch-hunt. they released a preemptive summary on monday that as expected clears secretary clinton of wrongdoing is there a bombshell that could impact hillary clinton's run for the white house? we have our team standing by while we wait for the republican led by trey gowdy to get this started. we have luke russert standing by, also ron allen in the white house, kristen welker is on the
campaign trail with hillary clinton and richard engel will also talk to us about the context of what was going on in libya in 2012 when moammar ghadafi was ousted and later killed that led to the area being one of contention in 2012. chris stevens died along with three other americans in that fight on the embassy in september 11 of 2012. again, the question, is this more of a big moment for political theater or is there a smoking gun that comes from this full 800-page release of the benghazi report? so let's find luke russert. we're looking at where trey gowdy and other members of the committee will speak in a moment. luke, what does the report reveal new, if anything, that didn't come out during testimony? >> we're here at the press conference. it's about to start momentarily where republican members of the benghazi committee will put forward their findings for public view. they've already made rounds in the morning shows.
in terms of going through this report i think the most damaging detail to the white house is this idea that the military, despite orders from secretary panetta and president obama never deployed, never was wheels up on the way to libya. there's other details that different military reaction forces were sitting on a plane while the administration made the decision whether or not they should be in military uniforms or civilian uniforms. this bureaucratic back-and-forth mess that we see so often in washington by both republican and democratic administrations comes through here according to the republican report. democrats, obviously, had different views upon this but it will all be i think put out for the rest of the week. a few other things in here that we saw. ambassador stevens was actively going forward in benghazi essentially trying to see what the security situation was and trying to set up a forward
consulate if you will there with the idea that at some point the republicans say that hillary clinton, then secretary of state, could come and see it which is a sort of wink-wink nod that stevens was there to set up a hillary clinton victory lap over the administration's policy in lip ya. there's also a long section about whether or not this attack was due to a youtube video or this was a pre-planned terrorist attack. it seems from this report that this was something that was clearly terrorism from the on set and they knew about it. i think lastly, thomas, the thing that will perhaps get the most scrutiny, and this has been litigated quite a lot is when susan rice, ambassador to the u.n., when -- sorry, national security advisor, when she went on the sunday shows making this claim that that this was related to an anti-muslim youtube video. this report says that she was briefed by david rhodes, one of
the president's national security advisors, as well as david plouffe who we all know as the architect of the 2008 obama campaign, a very important political advisor to 2012. this report alleged plouffe would not ordinarily brief members regarding national security before a sunday show appearance. rhodes claims that was normal, rice says that was abnormal. the reason why that is important is because the timing of this, 9/11, 2012, a few months ahead of the presidential election, if, in fact, the case was plouffe was briefing rice it does seem overtly political in a matter of international terrorism and importance, something that shouldn't necessarily be per u.s. history. so a lot to get in there and we'll see how it turns out. >> luke, just to remind everybody, because this was a while back, obviously this was during a time period after the arab spring.
moammar ghadafi was ousted about the late summer, august of 2011, later killed by october. this happening the following year. this was also happening during the heat of an election season so there were folks on the left in the begin who believed this was somehow related to a september 11 terrorist attack after a youtube video. that was quickly walked back -- the uprising excuse me, that happened there. now we know the right has dug in on this as a way to talk about secretary clinton and her leadership and whether she's trustworthy or not. here is tray goudey and the rest of the benghazi committee. we'll listen in. >> i want to begin by expressing our collective gratitude to ambassador chris steven, sean smith, glen doherty and ty woods. their families and loved ones for their service and ultimately the sacrifice that they made on
behalf of our country. i also want to express our collective appreciation for the americans who fought so valiantly that night and uncon trow verdictbly saved other lives. this service and sacrifice and desire to protect and defend to to americans and our interests abroad truly represents the best of what our country has to offer. after more than a hundred witness interviews, including more than 80 with witnesses no other committee of congress talked to and tens of thousands of pages of documents, that is the single greatest impression that we are left with, that there are men and women who love this country enough and what it stands for and how it can inspire others to serve in dangerous places under dangerous circumstances. so i will respectfully ask my citizens to simply do this, read the report. read the report and if you do
read the report i think what will become manifest to you what has co manifest to us which are two different images. the image on the one hand of what was happening in benghazi during the relevant time period and the image on the other hand of the decisions made and not made in washington during that same time period. you will see the urgency shown by the grs agents at the annex as they went to the mission compound to try to save person diplomatic security agents' lives. you will see the franticness with which they entered and reentered burning buildings in an attempt to locate and save sean smith and ambassador steven. you will see the ingenuity of the team in tripoli who got their own aircraft and deployed themselves from tripoli to benghazi because fellow americans needed their help.
you will see the fire fights at the compound. you will learn about the ambush from the compound to the annex and you will learn about the fire fights before the final lethal border attacks. there are only three assets that ever made it to benghazi, two unarmed drones and the team from tripoli who deployed themselves. they weren't ordered to go, they deployed themselves. glen doherty was on that plane from tripoli to benghazi and glen doherty not only flew from tripoli to benghazi but he negotiated at the airport with libyans that were supposed to be our friends to get to the annex so he could help defend that facility and he got there. just in time to join his fellow navy seal tyrone woods minutes before they both died. it has been said that nothing
could have reached benghazi before the lethal border attacks and i suppose what is meant by that is nothing other than the two unarmed drones and the team from tripoli that deployed itself. what is missing in that analysis but is pretty simple and straight forward to those of us who have been investigating it for the last two years is nothing could have reached benghazi because nothing was ever headed to benghazi. no u.s. military asset was ever deployed to benghazi, despite the order of the secretary of defense at 7:00 that night. so washington had access to realtime information but yet somehow they thought the fighting had subsided. washington had access to realtime information but somehow they thought these fighters were going to evacuate. even without the remains of the ambassador and without asking how is that evacuation supposed to be effectuated? how are you supposed to get from
the annex to the benghazi airport because it took you almost three hours to get from the airport to the annex? who is supposed to take you? so those are the decisions being contemplated and discussed in washington and this mistaken belief that ere was an evacuation that was imminent without asking the pretty fundamental question of how do you expect us effectuate this evacuation? washington had access to realtime information but that realtime information did not inform and instruct the decisions made in washington. after secretary panetta order e assets to help, the white house convened a two-hour meeting and perhaps nothing shows the contrast between what was happening in benghazi and what was happening in washington than that two-hour white house meeting and the summaries and the readouts that came from it. so it is true nothing could have
reached glen doherty and ty woods before they were killed because nothing was ever going toward glen doherty and ty woods. and it's worth noting that that statement would be trued that mortar attacks taken place at 7:15 a.m., 9:15 a.m., or even at lunchtime on the 12th because at the time those two americans were killed, not a single wheel, not a single u.s. military asset had even turned toward libya. our report starts with the attack and there is a section on the post-attack communication between government and the american citizenry and there is a section on pre-attack decisions made and not made that led to the environment which made our facility vulnerable. it's always better to be the first committee to investigate
and it is always better to investigate as contemporaneously to an incident or to an event. our committee did not have the luxury of either one of those. we began a year and a half after the instance. individually, all seven of us believed that there were more questions to ask, that there were more answers to acquire, more witnesses to interview, more documents to access and this report validates that belief. there is new information on what happened in benghazi and that should change the way you view what happened in benghazi and there are recommendations made to ensure it does not happen again. so i want to thank the house of representatives for giving us the honor of investigating four of our brave courageous fellow
citizens and those that were injured and those that fought so valiantly. i want to thank the six members standing up here with me who took on this assignment not in lieu of their own committee assignments but in addition there to and the women and men on our staff who took on what proved to be an incredibly difficult challenge and they did so out of a singular motivation of honoring four people whose political ideations none of us know anything about that gave their lives in benghazi. and lastly i want to thank my fellow citizens for bearing with our committee as we went through the process of uncovering new information and accessing witnesses and documents. i hope my fellow citizens will read this report. not for me but for those who
sacrificed and those nameless, faceless americans who uncon trow verdictbly saved other american lives that night. i hope you will read the report with them in mind and i would hasten to add, you can read this report from pillar to post in less time than our fellow americans were under attack in benghazi. so what i'm asking you to do is a fairly small investment given what others were willing to do on our behalf. and with that i would recognize the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you, chairman, and i, too, want to thank the committee members here for participating in this and it has been a lot of hard work but i think we need to also recognize the staff that we had. it's not easy working for seven members of congress, much less
one so i want to thank all of our personal staff for doing that but especially the staff with benghazi. and i think what we've done is we've produced new evidence that will allow the citizens of this country to take all the different pieces that have come out through the other investigations and tie those things all together. one of the problems that we had and the reason this committee was formed is that in the house of representatives, each committee has a lane and these lanes were continually getting confused and back and north about who had the authority to interview who. this committee was put together so we could bridge those gaps and get some new information out and that's what we've done. and i think that if you will read the report that you will see, as the chairman mentioned, that what was going on in washington at 10:08 when the
secretary made her first comments, we had men on the roof at the annex trying to protect their lives and the lives of the other americans in benghazi and so what we've done is in the new facts that we have discovered -- and there's many of them is that we have allowed people to take those new facts with the old facts that came out and some of those old facts have been re-evaluated and determined that they were not actually good. and so we've collaborated some of those different things in this report. but to take this new information we've got and being able to put it together and if the american people, if our fellow citizens will read this, they'll come up with their own opinion of what happened because there's enough new evidence that i think people will be able to put together for their self exactly what led up to this attack, what went on the attack and then the post-attack
when there was so much misinformation that was being repeated by this administration. so with that, i'll turn it back over to the chairman. >> the chairman mentioned that before the attack ended no military assets were headed towards benghazi but what did start before the attack was over was the political spin. 10:08 that night with tyrone woods still on the roof of the annex fighting for his life secretary clinton issues this statement. the official statement on benghazi, the official statement of our government that evening. "some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material on the internet. we know that statement was misleading because an hour later she told her daughter terrorists killed two of our people today. the next day she tells the egyptian prime minister, we know the film had nothing to do with it, it was a planned attack not a protest. and this public/private contrast
continues for days, publicly telling the american people it was a video-inspired protest, privately telling the truth that it was a terrorist attack. and maybe the best example is from the 14th, same stay mr. rhodes issues his talking points, but that day we have mr. carney at a press briefing saying this, no information to suggest benghazi was a pre-planned attack. no information to suggest a pre-planned attack. that same day, state department official in libya says this, "benghazi was a well-planned attack." you couldn't have a starker contrast than those two statements. and i think it's important to remember this, don't forget the context. libya was supposed to be the crowning jewel of the clinton state department foreign policy and the obama administration foreign policy. this was their example of how it works, no boots on the ground, ousted dictator, help the arab spring. this was supposed to be how it works. in fact, jake sullivan sent an
e-mail to -- one of the things we discovered in our information where he talks about leadership sturks wardship, ownership of this policy from start to finish, this was something hillary clinton pushed for and got done but maybe the better one is the e-mail from sidney blumenthal. a few days after qaddafi has been removed he sends an e-mail to the secretary and he says "this is a big moment, you should do a press event, even if it's in the driveway of your vacation home." and he finishes the e-mail with this statement. "this is a big moment, you are vindicated, don't wait, help cleo now." cleo, of course, is the goddess of history. so they were committed to this. they were invested in this. this was it. this was how it's supposed to work in their administration in their state department. and they were so committed it didn't matter that there were 200 security incidents between the time blumenthal sent the e-mail and when the terrorist attack happened. it didn't matter that one diplomatic security agent went to benghazi, did his service and came back and when he came back
he said this "it's a suicide mission. everybody there is going to die." it didn't matter on august 17 of 2012, three and a half weeks before the attack. beth jones sends a memo to secretary clinton and she uses terms, she talks about the uptick in violence in eastern libya and talks about urgency, lawlessness, widespread violence. didn't matter because they were committed to this policy. then it happens, then it happens, the terrorist attack -- and it's a terrorist attack on september 11, 2012 days before vice president joe biden had said bin laden is dead, the presidented that narrative that cold is on the run but now they got a terrorist attack and they have to mislead the american people because it's 56 days before an election, their legacy is on the line and she has the goddess of history looking over her shoulder so they mislead the
american people. mr. pompeo and i put together a report that we think supplements the good work in the full report and we did that because we felt it's important to know what happened but also the why, why did it happen. and you look at every step of this and i am convinced as sure as i'm standing here it happened because of political concerns this administration had. why did we stay in benghazi when almost everyone else was leaving? why did we stay when the security posture and position was so dangerous? why did we mislead the american people? and why did it take so long -- why were they talking about making sure military went in in civilian clothes and not uniforms? in the end it was political concerns that drove this, the evidence strongly shows that. and that's what we outline in our report and as the chairman said, i would encourage y'all to read both because i think it tells that story and that's something that shouldn't happen
in a country as great as ours where political concerns dominate instead of telling people the flute a straightforward fashion. >> america asks its citizens to go to dangerous places and to do difficult things. these are people who were in the military, in the clandestine services, who were diplomats and they go willingly and they go acknowledging that there is a risk, but the understanding that they carry with them is if they end up in harm's way historically they have rest assured that their country will do everything it can do to rescue them. that's not a guarantee. and the people that go -- and they accept these assignments voluntarily -- they know there is an inherent risk but the understanding is that their nation will move heaven and earth to save them. and that didn't happen. and four people were murdered.
that's the scandal of benghazi. the thing that i take away -- and it's been mentioned by previous speakers -- is this jarring contrast between the ingenuity and the heroism and the initiative that was taking place at benghazi, you can read these communications, you can understand the urgency of what they were dealing with and this overwhelming sense of respond to rescue other americans. meanwhile across the ocean almost a disposition of near fecklessness. the summary of this white house meeting that the chairman mentioned that took place at 7:30, half of the discussion, half of the readouts according to the information that we became privy to suggested that they were talking about a video. when you read this information, you come to the conclusion -- at least i did -- that they're as concerned, more concerned, about
whether they're going to be offending the libyan government by how it is that there this rescue is proposed to take place than whether the rescue is successful. marinate that for a second. they're worried about approvals. they're worried about how this will come off. it's very clear they were very worried previous to that about the notion of pulling back from benghazi. that's what the testimony shows. because an early exit from benghazi would have done what? it would have maybe upset the libyans. that's outrageous. ambassador chris stevens before he's the ambassador, when he's the envoy, he goes and he lands with no diplomatic immunity. he's on his own. it was a white house policy of no boots on the ground that deprived him of military support, military support that was previously going to accompany him, yet he goes in alone. it's a foreshadowing of things to come. so i think we've got to also look at this notion of
responsibility. there's been a lot of discussion obviously about secretary clinton. at the end of august we learned before the attack secretary clinton approved a $20 million grant, global security contingency fund, to who? to the libyans. but this was the same state department that basically stiff-armed one request after another request, cascading requests, cumulative requests, requests for security and more support that were essentially rejected, ignored, put somewhere else. so here's what's in it for us. here's what we have to recognize. if we are going to ask americans to put themselves at risk in the future we've got to remedy this, all of us. america needs to have a reputation with people who are serving america that america will follow its end of the bargain and america, that is the
bureaucrats in washington, failed this miserably. >> 56 days. you cannot begin to understand and place all the facts that this committee has worked diligently for a year and a half to present to the american people without understanding that this took place 56 days before a contested political election for president of the united states. whether it was the failure to put adequate security on the ground, whether it was the dithering while americans were at risk that night or whether it is the continued story in spite of enormous evidence to the contrary about a youtube video, it all takes place against a political backdrop. and you don't v to take my word for that, you can read the e-mails themselves. before the last mortar falls, they're talking about politics. as they're debating whether or not to send additional security to libya the concerns are about
the libyan government, not about the americans on the ground that night. i sit on the intelligence committee, i come at this from that perspective. when you read what the intelligence was the night of the attack from benghazi, libya, it is uniform and uncontra verdicted. this was an attack by radical islamic terrorists on an american facility. there was no fog of war, there was no dispute save for a few stray news reports, the evidence was clear. read what secretary clinton herself said. read the words from other officials on the ground that night communicating back to the most senior levels of government what transpired that night. it wasn't about a youtube video, it wasn't about a bunch of folks out for a walk and when secretary clinton said "what difference does it make" we can now as a result of our work tell you exactly what difference it makes. it makes a difference in how you respond to an attack. whether you think this was just a bunch of folks walking around
or a continuous five-phase assault on america that took place in benghazi, libya that night. washington, d.c. somehow viewed this as having ended once our men and women were evacuated to the annex in benghazi, i can sure assure you when you read the timeline of events, the men on the ground that night understood this wasn't over. they understood that terror was till upon them, that the risks to their lives continue and in washington, d.c. we debated things that had nothing do with whether or not we had aircraft enroute to benghazi, libya. that's what difference it makes. you can't begin to exercise the leadership you need to exercise if you don't understand what's happening on the ground and if you choose to put political expaid yensy and politics ahead of the men and women on the ground, for that you'll have to answer to yourself. i find it morally reprehensible and behavior that if it was your son or your daughter or one of your family members or friends on the ground and you watched the actions in washtsds you'd have every right to be disgusted with the response from the
senior american leaders. this was a failure at the most senior levels of our government and one that i hope the recommendation this is committee presents will help making sure that something like this never happens again. >> let me start by saying i am so proud of this report. i am so proud of the work that this committee has done as a whole, the majority. i want to thank our chairman gowdy and the rest of the members of this committee for the way in which this investigation was handled and for his leadership as our chairman. this investigation has uncovered a ton of new information which leads to our much greater understanding about what happened before, during, and after the attack in benghazi is. while our guys were on the ground taking gunfire and mortar
attacks, washington was moving at a snail's pace. in washington, the administration was more concerned about diplomatic sensitivities with the libyans and promoting its policy as successful than it was about the americans' safety that they sent to benghazi. at the end of the day, no military assets were ever moving towards benghazi. the bottom line is that washington failed to have our guys' backs when they needed it. and from my perspective this represent represents incompetence or indifference or both. as we know now, but for the bravery of a few americans and the unexpected response of caddy's underground militia, qaddafi's underground militia, there would have been an even greater loss of life that night.
in this case i believe that the government failed its people and lied to the public in the aftermath. this is unacceptable. and i hope -- and i know that this report shines light on that and god willing will prevent this from ever happening again. >> i, too, want to join martha in thanking our chairman. this has been an incredible task to undertake. and we have worked day in and day out, particularly the staff to come up with the truth, to bring facts to the american people that we did not know before. i've been particularly focused on issues prior to the attack and the things that we learned about benghazi, there were many new things that we learned about benghazi. and we've all admitted and it's been known for some time that the security was inadequate, but
what we didn't know until this investigation was that the state department made a conscious decision to keep the benghazi compound off the radar and not provide it the security that it needed. in fact, none of the facilities in libya met any of the security requirements required by the state department and required by law. so when chris stevens was sent into benghazi he was initially going in with the military, but because of the president's policy of no boots on the ground, at the last minute that military support was pulled. so we know he didn't have and the mission didn't have enough security, whether it was people or whether it was physical security tools, but he had a mission and he had a mission to ensure that benghazi became a permanent post at some point because it was the individuals in benghazi that had helped lead the mission to topple qaddafi.
and so if administration and the clinton administration and secretary of state, they wanted to show benghazi how important they were, they wanted to show benghazi that they would be there for them, the americans would not leave. and we learned during this investigation that it was in october of 2012 that the secretary had a planned trip to benghazi. she had planned the trip to libya in order to show the libyans that the americans had been there for them and this the americans under her leadership had led the charge. well, i will tell you, this was failed american foreign policy it was failed american foreign policy from the beginning and that is because we learned and as the president has even said, the worst thing that we did was not planning for the day after, he's indicated the worst mistake of his presidency was not planning for the day after
qaddafi fell. and so we sent people, american diplomats, to benghazi, to libya, to a failed state and what they were most concerned about at the beginning of going into libya was making sure that it wasn't a failed state, that it wasn't a terrorist safe haven. and what is it today? it's a terrorist safe haven. isis, al qaeda, other militias are there controlling their only natural resources of oil and other places in libya. it is failed policy, we failed these american people, but i want to close by making sure people realize we said that we were going to try to make sure this didn't happen in the future so not only did this committee work hard to uncover the facts and uncover the truth and put light on the truth but we have pages of recommendations many pages of recommendations and i would encourage you to please look at those recommendations, and just a couple of the
recommendations that are so critical is that our government agencies and the leaders of those government agencies had not planned for an attack like this. cia, department, state department had not been prepared and had really no plans in place to execute something like this that could happen on, of all days, september 11, even though the president had called a meeting of top government officials asking if we were ready for september 11. and while leaders said we were ready, we were not ready. we were not prepared to respond. we also learned that political operatives got involved in messaging after this incident occurred. that should not be happening. internal and public government communications about terrorist attacks should not be taking place. government should be telling the american people the truth, not trying to put political spin.
and so we have many recommendations that we hope and that we will encourage our members of congress as well as administrations to look at, to change their policies, to change our laws, to find more funding mechanisms, to make sure our people are protected in the future and with that i yield back to the chairman. >> if you have questions, please identify yourself, the entity for whom you work and a member to whom the question is directed. yes, ma'am? >> reporter: this is for you, mr. chairman. the democrats on your committee say that you put out a lot of new details but that they don't really change the fundamental understanding of what happened and a lot of the things that you just discussed have been known for years. so at the end of the day, was this the best use of taxpayer dollars and of your time? >> it is difficult for me to begin with where i disagree with the foundation of your question so let me just start at the end
of it. who says that stuff is new? nobody has ever reported that nothing was headed to benghazi. nobody ever reported that not a single wheel was turning towards libya god knows nobody who's ever reported who actually evacuated our folks. you may have reported that secretary clinton was headed back to libya in october but you didn't have the corroboration of the e-mails and you didn't know why he was going back. you didn't know about the $20 million memo. first of all, you didn't know about any of the e-mails from ambassador stevens, you didn't know about any of the e-mails from sidney blumenthal to whoever he was e-mailing. you didn't know that a single u.s. military asset did not meet a single designated timeline. think about that for a second. the world's most powerful military did not meet a single solitary self-imposed timeline. so all of that is new. as for the democrats, color me
shocked that they are critical of our report. all five of them voted not to form the committee, they threatened not to participate and for the most part they did not. they have been serial leakers of information and they missed a really good opportunity. i don't know if you had a chance to read the report or not, but if you read the report you will see their report mentions her name far more times than our report does. our report doesn't mention the presumptive republican nominee for president because he's not nothing to do with benghazi so you can direct those questions to elijah and the rest of them. i'm actually proud of what we found. >> reporter: are you saying the military could have saved those four people if they had done more? >> well, clearly you couldn't have saved two of them. they were dead within about 15 minutes of the fire being started. with respect to glen doherty and ty woods, there were three assets that made it there. the group from tripoli that deployed itself, an unarmed drone that was elsewhere and positioned over the facility and then another unarmed drone that
the -- let's just say the evidence is split on whether or not it could have been armed in time. it got there before the mortar attack. so i don't know. i'm not going to make a reckless allegation that ty woods and glen doherty's lives could have been saved. nothing was ever coming to benghazi. so i think that's a fundamentally important question to ask. there's an e-mail that sticks out in my mind right now that's a takeout from the white house meeting which, by the way, if you knew about it nobody reported on it so to the democrats' claim that there's no new information, i haven't heard much about this white house meeting until our report was issues. one of the takeouts from that to our white house meeting, negotiation the five action
items on the video, consider this. the video had been out for a while. it wasn't new. cairo had happened. right? cairo happened before benghazi so if you are concerned about this video you have done absolutely nothing after you received notice that the video was going to be disseminated, you have done absolutely nothing after cairo happened, okay? you with me? cairo has happened and you have changed not one iota of your military posture. but yet, but yet, when the attack in benghazi happens, which is unconnected with the video, 50% of your action items coming out of a sivits relate to the video. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] we've talked to members who have read through the report here and that there are different lanes
that deal with secretary clinton, defense, so on, and so forth, there are folks who are going to read this report and say this is just a part to get hillary clinton 130 days before the election, 27 days before the convention. how do you, regardless of what's in the report, that's going to be the criticism. how do you deflect that? some of you said well, this demonstrated incompetence at the highest level. how do you not get that perceived as something that's political. >> read the report for yourself. if you can read this report and you believe on the last page of the report that it is about one person instead of about four people then there's nothing i can say that's going to disabuse you of that. that's just what you believe, and there's no amount of facts or evidence that will disway you from your previously-held conviction. nancy asked about the democrats. the democrats iman tra all along has been that there is no new information. there's indisputely no new
information. now they say it doesn't fundamentally change the way we view benghazi. if who evacuated your folks does not change your view of benghazi, if the fact that no asset was ever headed towards the place that actually had a crisis, this e-mail that we need to plan in case a crisis emerges, this is what came out of the sivits. we need to have a plan in case the crisis expands and a real threat emerges. what the hell was going nonbenghazi? was that not a real crisis? was that not a real threat that emerged? so i can't do anything to disabuse what elijah thinks. he's not my audience. my audience are reasonable fair-minded americans who want to know what happened to four of their fellow citizens. >> reporter: on that point, you said representative pompeo, quoting hillary clinton, "what difference does it make" saying that you can't be a leader if you don't know what's going on on the ground and then saying
she was morally reprehensible for the leadership she employed that evening. >> i don't think you'll see any of that in the report. is in the the report. >> reporter: you're promoting it right now. >> you're going to write a story about your takeaway from the report. i stand on our report. how my fellow citizen, including my committee members, read the report, how you read the report, what story you do on the report, the report -- you read the report, you will not see any of those quotes. >> reporter: can i follow up on that? >> reporter: can mr. pompeo address that? is hillary clinton's leadership morally reprehensible? >> yes. it is. let me be clear about what we're doing. none of us volunteered for assignment, i can assure you. we were asked to undertake this mission. we senate a room, i remember it like it was yesterday and we all looked at each other and we said this day, the day we're standing here today will come and what we want to tell each other is that we worked our tails off, i got the polite word out, we worked our tails off to develop every
fact we could. to tell the american people everything we could possibly glean and we have been obstructed every step along the way in that effort including by the very democrats today who are calling us political go. read these transcripts. look who called the witness. look who asked the questions. this is not the first congressional inquiry in the history of america. i dare you to find another congressional inquiry where one party behaved in a way that was so deeply obstructive of getting the american people the facts they needed. with respect to my statements about secretary clinton, i believe them in my heart. the reason representative jordan i and i chose to write a separate report is we felt we had delivered an important work in the committee's tally of the information that was available. we were asking every one of you to develop your conclusions about what took place. i've been knee deep in this for two years. so has representative jordan on previous committees as well and we feel like it's important to highlight the conclusions representative jordan and i draw about the facts.
read the facts, read the reports. you'll see the conclusion wes draw are real and accurate and fair. >> reporter: mr. gowdy. the flip side of that could be that because you chose not to draw conclusions, does that suggest that you don't have the goods on placing any blame on the administration? >> dana, shockingly, that was not what the house asked know do. look at the resolution, the resolution doesn't mention secretary clinton. is speaker boehner nor speaker ryan have ever asked me to do anything about 2016 presidential politics. speaker boehner asked me to find out what happened to four of our fellow citizens and i believe that that is what i have done. you are welcome to read the report. i hope you will. i know you will. ? you at the end of reading that report can conclude that it is about one person instead of about four people i will be shocked. >> reporter: i'm asking the opposite question. do you believe after doing this for two years, spendsing all of
your time, millions of dollars, do you believe that based on this that the american people should look at this and see that the woman who wants to be president has culpability? i was with you until the last clause of your statement. i think the american people ought to look at it. they ought to look at it because fellow americans died and were injured and fellow americans went to heroic lengths to save other americans. what conclusions they draw is up to them. >> reporter: do you disagree with mr. pompeo or do you draw conclusions? >> i wrote the report i think is centered in the facts. i have a background of who, what, when, where. i don't have a background in the why. y'all may have a background in the why. i don't. my job is to report facts, that's what i've done. you can draw whatever conclusions you want to draw. >> reporter: who is tapping the brakes on the military response? and my second question is what did you learn about a covert weapons operation in benghazi?
>> well, we asked questions about covert weapons operations. we made some progress. e lawyers intervened when we were beginning to make a lot of progress and among the questions i asked the president included that one specifically. i have not heard back from him yet. i heard from his lawyer and i'm not holding my breath that i'm going to get an answer to that. i think it was important because the house asked us to examine policies that could have led to the attack so i think it's important to ask the questions but that's not the focus of our committee. >> reporter: and who was tapping the brakes on the military response? >> well, tapping the brakes is a pejorative phrase and i remember when we said we were going to interview carter hamm again i remember a lot of raised eyebrows, why are you going to talk to him again? as if all the right questions
had been asked the first time. i think the military leaders would tell you exactly what i said in my opening. they believed an evacuation was imminent. when you question them on why they believe an evacuation was imminent, the answers do not withstand even the mildest level of scrutiny, you have real-live witnesses that can tell you what is going on. if you think the fighting is subsided, why don't you talk to real live witnesses being shot at. if you really believe an evacuation is imminent, at some level you're going to have to ask how is that evacuation going to be effectuated because you don't have the problemer vehicles to take them from the annex to the benghazi airport and the only plane sufficient one that you privately commissioned. not even a u.s. aircraft and you have no idea whether it's going to hold everybody. so how are you going to evacuate in the midst of a fire fight? general hamm did not even know
our guys were ambushed from the compound to the annex. he didn't know about it. so to everybody who wanted to know why we wanted to talk to general hamm again, i thought it would be nice for him to have all the facts because he didn't have them the night he made the decisions. >> reporter: some have described this as a perfect storm of bureaucratic inertia. obviously you place blame on many levels but i'm curious, is there one entity or one person who you lay most of the blame after this analysis? >> that will be in the eyes of my fellow citizens. i'm not in the business of apportioning culpability. i think there's enough to go around just like there's enough urgency and ingenuity and valor. that really is my take away and maybe it's because i have talked to the families of the four, some of the families of the four in the last couple of days but when you do what i used to do for a living you ask the families what is it that you would like to see done? and i am at peace that we did
exactly for the families what we said we would do. it just took longer, but we did what we said we would do. i wanted to be able to tell ty woods' widow the truth about the military response. i wanted to be able to tell sean smith's mother the truth about the security leading up to it. and i am at peace that we have more information than the other committees had and we could have had more had we had a tiny bit of cooperation from the other side. >> reporter: mr. chairman, along the lines, put aside the tack itself and what happened that particular night. have you been able to in some way, some abstract way, i guess, get into ambassador stevens' mind regarding a u.s. presence in libya? how he wanted that and facility there is in benghazi? how much he wanted the american presence to not appear militarized? >> well, let's be very clear
about something. chris stevens loved the people of libya and in particular he loved the people of benghazi and the heroism he showed going in as the envoy and what he had to deal with as the envoy well before he was ever the also zor a lever of valor and heroism and commitment to this country that if you don't read the report for any other reason, read it to see what chris stevens had to endure if 2011. questi questi you asked me do we have an insight into his mind-set? yeah, he got there on september 10. he started meeting with intelligence officials about the state of security in libya and he began to postpone his subsequent meetings because of what he was hearing. he knew it wasn't great. he had no idea how bad it was so he began to postpone the next meeting is ready, the next meeting is ready and here's our ambassador saying i'm not through getting my debereaving
yet. then he moves the off campus meetings and engagements on campus. and then you see his diary entry. you see his diary entry on september 11. read his diary entry, read the e-mail he sent to the british diplomat. no, we know exactly what was on chris stevens' mind. benghazi had deteriorated in a way he did not even expect and security was what was on. >>. >> reporter: but the appearance of the united states presence was not solidified by -- >> i think he wanted to stay alive more than anything else. he wanted to stay alive. if that means a slightly higher footprint there need to be experts or supervisors in your life that say "we appreciate your valor but we're going to give you the security that you asked for originally."
>> reporter: so people have asked this question in different ways but -- >> you must not have liked my answers. >> reporter: americans have viewed these events and investigations through certain lenses and they'll probably continue after today despite your pleas they read 800 pages of a report. there are bumper stickers and t-shirts all over this country that say "hillary clinton lied, people died." maybe mr. pompeo would answer this, too. is that true? >> you don't see that t-shirt on me and you've never seen that bumper sticker on my vehicles and you've never heard me comment on that. >> reporter: can you shed any light on that invective? >> have you read it? >> reporter: i'm asking you. >> i'm asking you to read it. i'm asking you to read it. i'm not going to tell you what to be on the lookout for. i'm going to tell you there's new information and it fundamentally changes the way i view what happened before, during and after but who was it ben rose that said reporters
literally know nothing. was that right? is that what ben rhodes said? i don't believe that. i trust you to read the report for yourself and draw your own conclusion. you're going to write your report. >> reporter: you're the expert. what do you think? do you think she lied? >> i'm not going to assign -- that's a word you couldn't use in a courtroom. i know this. i want you to contrast the information and the evidence that was available on the evening of september 11. look at the full body of evidence that was available and then look at what was said. and then you draw your own conclusion of whether or not you made the best views of the evidence and information that was available. it is one thing to say the evidence didn't exist. it existed, we found them. we found the ds agents. we found the grs agents. their conversation is ongoing throughout the night. she actually talked to greg hicks. so that argument actually
both -- works both ways. if there's a failure of information, she was fairly definitive in certain statements she made to other people privately. there was no ambiguity. it wasn't like i can't answer that question mr. egyptian political leader, we don't know. she was pretty definitive. it was just in the public statements to us that there was less definitiveness. so you'll have to decide that for yourself. >> i'll pick up right where the chairman was. look at the statements made privately, you decide for yourselves, what she said privately, what others said in the administration said privately, what they said publicly. some have said, well, the intelligence analysis changed over time. that's true. but their statements didn't. they were consistent. publicly it's a video-inspired protest. privately terrorist attack. that continued so look for yourself. you can decide. but when you look at the private statements compared to what they told the american people, a
stark contrast, a dramatic difference and look for yourself. >> let me just say that we have -- this report has never been about one person. it's been about the four americans and what the other americans inside of libya did to save their colleagues. the media has made this, wants to make this about one person. the democrats want to make this about one person. that's never been our intention. but we have enough facts in the report that i think every american can make their own mind up. if you talk to ty woods' dad, he's going to have a different opinion from reading the report of what the secretary told him and what the facts state in
sean smith's mother will have a same different way of looking at the report. this report is lengthy, but it had to be lengthy so we could present the facts. but this report -- and the chairman has made it clear to each and every one of us -- this was not about one single person. in fact the report, i think, we reached our goal when we came up with a different recommendation that need to be done to prevent this from happening again. and i think the detail that we went into makes these recommendations all the more important and hopefully the speaker and other people will
take them and do something with them because i do think they lay out a means of us not getting in this same situation. i would like to comment, too, that when these americans arrived from tripoli to the airport in benghazi, they were there for about three hours and so yong we knew if we had another hostage situation at the airport or not, but as has been said by the other members, not one wheel had been up, not one person headed to benghazi and we didn't really know how those guys, if they were going to be allowed to leave the airport. so there were many other situations that should have been talked about at different times in washington that were never talked about. do we have another hostage situation?
is the ambassador hostage? are these military guys and other grs, are they being held hostage? we didn't see any evidence of that ever being talked about while these guys are standing there trying to talk their way off that airport to get to help their friends. >> last question. >> well, i haven't gotten a question yet although the last one may be about the latter part of what i call section 2. which is the post-attack communication. i want to pivot for just a second from the person you're asking me about to the person the administration actually put on the five sunday talk shows. we talked to her and appreciate mr. eggelston making her available. i found that interview to be very informative. she was the third choice. i thought she was inadequately prepared and that's what happens when you are inadequately prepared, you say a series of demonstrably false things on national television.
including about the fbi, including conflating the video the demonstration. including saying that a handful of extremists hijacked and otherwise. this is just stuff that's made up. it would be one thing if it were in the talking points. there are multiple sets of talking points. it would be one thing if it were in there and they got it wrong therefore she got it wrong. it's not even in there. it's just made up out of whole cloth. so i get that that's not the person i have that been asked about but this is the person who made most of the public pronouncements at least on that sunday after the attacks. i'll take one more question. >> reporter: you talked about the specifics of the marine team. do you actually name in the report the officers who told them to get off the plane and change to civilia