Ron Johnson: Hillary Felt Culpable for Benghazi, But Not Taking Responsibility

Ron Johnson: Hillary Felt Culpable for Benghazi, But Not Taking Responsibility

On Friday’s “The Kelly File,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the legislator that evoked the “What difference does it make?” response from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relation Committee, explained to host Megyn Kelly how interpreted that outburst as excerpts about Benghazi of Clinton’s forthcoming memoir have been released.

“Let’s face it,” he said. “The administration did mislead the American public for a couple weeks. And I was just asking the simple question — why didn’t you call the survivors? That’s certainly what I would have done, first of all just to find out how they are doing, can they do anything for the families and then to find out what happened. I think the reason she got so testy is pretty uncomfortable question. I think she felt culpable. And there is no doubt about the fact that security request for increased security, not only those requests went unanswered, they actually ramped down security. And so, from my standpoint, Megyn, that was a clear dereliction of duty. Those four Americans didn’t have to die. A small contention of armed guards would have prevented that attack, I believe. And so I think Mrs. Clinton has to feel responsible. In this book apparently she’s claiming responsibility, but what is she claiming responsibility for? Ramping down the security? Is she claiming responsibility for sending Ambassador Stevens there in the first place? I mean, I don’t know what she’s claiming responsibility for. Bottom line, I don’t think she’s taking responsibility at all.”

Johnson said he thought Clinton’s potential presidential candidacy has taken a hit from the outburst. But he also expressed his disapproval of the Obama administration’s handling of the post-Benghazi aftermath.

“I think it already has been,” Johnson said. “I’m sure she regrets it, but, you know, again, what you really have to concentrate on is what they are trying to cover-up. And the biggest outrage is what they didn’t do prior to the attacks. You know, the security not provided, the security actually ramped down. That’s what the American people need to concentrate on. And Megyn, the other thing I point out is put yourself in the position of secretary of state welcoming home those bodies of those four dead Americans. Now would you have taken that moment to demonstrate genuine human compassion, offer your condolences, offer the condolences of a nation or seize upon that moment to basically plant and perpetuate that cover-up? Because that’s what the secretary of state Clinton did. When she went to the father of Tyrone Woods and said we’ll bring that video producer, we’re going to arrest him. We’re going to bring him to justice. That’s just a craven political act.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor