During Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton rejected allegations that she lied about the September 11 attacks on the U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
“On the night of the attacks in Benghazi, you sent an email to your daughter Chelsea saying that Al Qaeda was responsible for the killing of the Americans. However, some of the families claim you lied to them … Secretary Clinton, did you lie to them?” moderator Jorge Ramos asked.
The debate then cut to a clip of Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who was killed in Benghazi, accusing Clinton of knowing the Benghazi attacks were perpetrated by radical jihadists. “They knew it was not the video,” Smith says in the clip.
“I feel a great deal of sympathy for the families of the four brave Americans that we lost at benghazi, and I certainly can’t even imagine the grief that she has for losing her son,” Clinton responded. “But she’s wrong. She’s absolutely wrong,” she said of Smith, whose son was an information management officer in the Foreign Service.
“I and everybody in the administration, all the people she named, the president, the vice president, Susan Rice, we were scrambling to get information that was changing literally by the hour. And when we had information, we made it public, but then sometimes we had to go back and say we have new information that contradicts it,” Clinton added.
The former Secretary of State continued:
So I testified for 11 hours. Anybody who watched that and listened to it knows that I answered every question that I was asked, and when it was over the Republicans had to admit they didn’t learn anything. Why? Because there had already been one independent investigation, there had been seven or eight congressional investigations, mostly led by Republicans who all reached the same conclusions, that there were lessons to learned.
However, in that very hearing, the email that Clinton sent to her daughter was brought to light. The email stated that the Benghazi assault was a “planned attack” by an “Al Qaeda-like group.”
“And this is not the first time we lost Americans in a terrorist attack,” Clinton told the audience. “We lost 3,000 people on 9/11. We lost Americans serving in embassies in Tanzania and Kenya when my husband was president. We lost 250 Americans, both military and civilian, when Ronald Reagan was president in Beirut. At no other time were those tragedies politicized.”