Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Elise Labott on Monday that she “take[s] responsibility” for security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, where an attack last month killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.”I take responsibility,” she told CNN. “I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world — 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”
Clinton’s remarks come in the middle of a timeline that has produced political backlash for the Obama administration over its handling of the attacks. Last Thursday during the vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden said that “we weren’t told they wanted more security” leading up to the attacks.
The remarks earned him scrutiny from Republicans, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, because they appeared to contradict testimony from a regional security officer at a Congressional hearing last week. The White House clarified Friday that Biden’s “we” meant the administration, where requests for security would normally not end up.
Clinton’s comments also come before Tuesday’s second presidential debate between Romney and President Barack Obama. Obama’s image on foreign policy has taken a brutal hit in the aftermath of the Libya attacks.
Here’s video of Clinton’s on CNN in brief, via BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski:
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