Dana Milbank Wash Post: Her anger boiled over when rookie Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) demanded to know why she and her aides didn’t immediately call those evacuated from Benghazi to find out whether a protest had preceded the attack. Clinton replied that she didn’t want to interfere with the FBI’s investigation — which is almost certainly what Republicans would have accused her of doing.
“That’s a good excuse,” Johnson said, scornfully.
“Well, no, it’s a fact,” Clinton retorted, growing irritated. Waving her index finger, she pointed out that much of what happened in Libya on Sept. 11 remains unknown.
“No, no, no, no,” Johnson rejoined. “We were misled that there were supposedly protests and then something sprang out of that, an assault . . . and the American people could have known that within days.”
Clinton raised her voice. “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” she shouted at the lawmaker. Waving her arms and then pounding the witness table with her fist, she continued: “Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Republican Senator Rand Paul: “Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi . . . I would have relieved you of your post. Their lives could’ve been saved. I think it is good that you’re accepting responsibility because no one else is.” Wash Post.
Hillary: “Unsatisfactory leadership is not grounds for finding a breach of duty.”
Paul: “They should’ve never been sent in there without military guard. Someone needs to take leadership.”
Hillary: “The reason I’m here today is to answer questions the best I can. The failures sat at the assistant secretary level and below. I believe in transparency. I believe in taking accountability and I believe I have done so.”
When did we last hear Hillary utter the “walk and chew gum” line? In 2011 “As a country with many complex interests, we’ll always have to walk and chew gum at the same time” and 2010.
Related: Hillary’s “undiplomatic” loss of “cool.” ”