Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that emails between Ambassador Chris Stevens and a reporting officer about picking up physical barriers for US facilities from other nations’ “fire sales” were just jokes and “showed their entrepreneurial spirit” in testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee on Wednesday.
Hillary was asked by Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN) about one of Stevens’ emails “to a reporting officer who we know was in Benghazi still,” where “he wrote, ‘Interesting. Has security improved in Benghazi in recent weeks? Also curious what you guys decided to do regarding future of the compound?’ 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?”
Hillary answered, “Well, Congresswoman, one of the great attributes that Chris Stevens had was a really good sense of humor, and I just see him smiling as he’s typing this, because it is clearly in response to the email down below talking about picking up a few, quote, ‘fire sale items from the Brits’ –.”
Brooks then cut in, “Those fire sale items by the way, fire sale items, are barricades. They are additional requests for security for the compound. That’s what that 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.”
Hillary responded, “Well, I thought it showed their entrepreneurial spirit, Congresswoman, 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.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett