Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave long-awaited testimony this morning on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.This morning, she testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Later this afternoon, she will come before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In her opening remarks, Clinton defended her handling of the lead-up to the attack and its aftermath, but she said that she accepted responsibility.
Clinton got emotional during her opening remarks to the committee, choking up when talking about the four Americans who were killed in the September attack.
“For me, this is not just a matter of policy, it’s personal,” Clinton said, tearing up. “I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.
“It has been one of the greatest honours of my life to lead the men and women of the State Department and USAID. Nearly 70,000 serving here in Washington and at more than 275 posts around the world. They get up and go to work every day — often in difficult and dangerous circumstances thousands of miles from home — because they believe as we believe the United States is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the earth has ever known.”
Facing questions from members of the committee, Clinton said she was not responsible for changing talking points that led to immediate confusion over whether the attack was carried out by terrorists.
“I personally was not focused on talking points. I was focused on keeping our people safe,” Clinton said.
She said charges that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and the Obama administration couldn’t “be further from the truth” in a rather heated exchange with Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.
“Nothing could be further from the truth.”
NowThis News has video of Clinton’s emotional opening statement:
Here is her full opening statement to the Senate committee, as provided by the State Department:
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