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January 24th, 2013
08:22 AM ET

Sen. Johnson: White House was 'playing election politics' after Benghazi attack

Yesterday morning, Secretary of State Clinton took on GOP critics of her department's handling of the September terrorist attack in Libya.

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson persistently questioned Clinton about what he described as UN Ambassador Susan Rice "purposely misleading" the American people.

"We were misled that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact," Johnson said, adding that "the American people could have known that within days."

Shouting in frustration, Clinton shot back: "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they'd go kill some Americans?"

Sen. Johnson discusses his interaction with Clinton on Starting Point this morning, saying that he was "trying to be respectful" and that he was "a little surprised" at the Secretary's reaction.

Nevertheless, Sen. Johnson stands by his line of questioning, insisting that lawmakers "need to get to the bottom" of what happened because "the American people deserve the truth."

"This administration has been hiding behind an FBI investigation and a 60 day accountability report," Sen. Johnson says. "They were playing election politics, no doubt about it."

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Filed under: Libya • Politics
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Stephen Jackson

    Benghazi Lessons
    The attach on the Benghazi consulate is important for many reasons, but mostly it is an example of failure in leadership, trust, command and control, and the false narrative by President Obama that it was caused by a spontaneous reaction from a public protest. The real cause of the attach needs to be known so that we, the public will know that our federal government is taking the correct actions when they treat the attack as a crime and send in the FBI to investigate and apprehend the criminals or if the attack should be considered an act of war and send in the military to kill the combatants.
    Yesterday’s hearings by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee with Secretary of State Clinton’s testimony did nothing to advance understanding of the cause for the attack and what the United States reaction should be or should have been. The hearings may have served their purpose, but they did not get to the truth of the matter. None of the democratic participants probed for answers. They mostly complemented Secretary Clinton on her job. Likewise the republicans did not probe for answers. They merely, but importantly stated the problem with the attack, the government interpretation, and lack of action.
    I want the Senate and house to have a special counsel conduct an investigation with full authority to subpoena records and witnesses and take legitimate testimony and determine what happen at Benghazi, who was involved, and provide the information needed for the congress and president to take action and for the people to accept the information and government action.

    January 25, 2013 at 12:56 am | Report abuse | Reply

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