Clinton Adviser: ‘Seems Odd’ To Put Tributes To ‘Four Guys’ In Benghazi Statement

A picture shows the damage inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi on September 13, 2012, following an attack on the building late on September 11 in which the US ambassador to Libya and three other US nationals were killed. Libya said it has made arrests and opened a …

In an email released by Wikileaks, Mandy Grunwald, political consultant to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suggests that it seemed “odd” to place tributes to the “four guys” that died in the 2012 terror attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in opening remarks prepared for Clinton.

An email chain entitled “DRAFT: Opening Statement” involves discussion between Dan Schwerin, David Kendall, Jennifer Palmieri, Mandy Grunwald, Katherine Turner, Jake Sullivan, Cheryl Mills and Phil Barnett according to the Wikileaks released document. On October 16, 2015 Schwerin sends an initial draft of “HRC’s opening statement based on our discussion today” and adds, “As Cheryl mentioned, we’d love to get this to HRC for a first read tonight or tomorrow, so quick feedback would be great.”

Several of those addressed respond with their input on the statement and edits. Though Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta is included in those the email dialogue was circulated to, it doesn’t appear that he offers a response in this chain.

An October 19, 2015 email from Mandy Grunwald, however, does give input in the email discussion about what to include in a statement from Clinton on Benghazi and it reads as follows:

Seems odd to put the tributes to the four guys into this statement, since it is mostly the repackaged testimony.  We can’t overdo the tributes to them and I think they should be done in person.


Mandy Grunwald

Grunwald Communications

The “four guys” being referenced are the four men killed in the 2012 terrorist attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya that lasted around 13 hours. Their names are Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Prior to Grunwald’s remarks, Kendall writes:

Can we get some more numbers into the early “diplomacy is dangerous” discussion?  Sixty-six American diplomatic personnel and over a hundred contractors and locally employed staff killed since the 1970’s (or whatever the numbers are).  I recognize we have some numbers on page 3 (Beirut bombing, 1998 attacks).

Palmieri adds:

I think it is good.  Imagine the clip they will use is the partisan slugfest sentence.  I don’t love “backs of dead Americans” in that sentence.  I think that is too graphic and splashes back on her as appearing to exploit their deaths.

Grunwald responds to Palmieri’s comment, calling the statement strong, but as for Palmieri’s suggestion, Grunwald says, “I don’t mind the “backs of dead Americans” because we need a bit of moral outrage. I suppose we can dial the language back, but the sense of outrage should remain.”

Schwerin then explains, “That “backs of dead Americans” line is stolen from Hard Choices, so maybe a good idea to tweak slightly anyhow. I’ll play with some alternatives.  If folks have other concerns before I send on to HRC, please let me know.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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