Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan took issue with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s comment that protests had erupted in both Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya, citing evidence from the House Select Committee’s investigation stating that no protest of any kind had occurred in Benghazi. He then went on to quote from various State Department spokespersons who, in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack, claimed that the incident in Benghazi was linked to the Cairo-based protest, which was a reaction to an offensive online video.
“Where’d the false narrative start? It started with you, Madame Secretary,” said Jordan, adding that a statement released by Clinton the night of the attack suggests as much. “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?”
Clinton proceeded to emphasize her official statement’s use of the phrase “some have sought,” which described the efforts of a small group to use the video as a means of inciting anti-American sentiments in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the region. “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.”
However, Jordan just couldn’t let the discrepancy go, citing additional emails and calls made to the Libyan president, the Egyptian prime minister and her own family. In all three messages, Clinton said that the State Department knew that “the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.”
When Clinton again reference her statement’s language, Jordan erupted.
“Calling it an attack is like saying the sky is blue. Of course it was an attack! We want to know the truth. The statement you sent out was a statement on Benghazi, and you say ‘vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material on the Internet.’ If that’s not pointing at its motive being the video, I don’t know what is. And that’s certainly how the American people saw it.”
“There was a lot of conflicting information that we were trying to make sense of,” said Clinton. “The situation was fluid. It was fast-moving.”
Jordan pressed on, repeating his previous comments and criticizing Clinton’s attempted answers to them. Two bantered back and forth for a few minutes, but when the congressman had to wrap up, he reiterated his main line of argument — that Clinton was able to “tell the truth” to her own family and foreign diplomats, but not the American people. When chairman Trey Gowdy asked Clinton whether or not she wanted to respond, she plugged her book.
“I wrote a whole chapter about this in my book, Hard Choices. I’d be glad to send it to you, congressman.”
Check out the clip above, via C-SPAN.
[Image via screengrab]
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