Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton made her much-anticipated appearance on Capitol Hill on Thursday to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. This was a high-stakes showdown for both Clinton and the Republican lawmakers who were leading an investigation into the events surrounding the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.
Here on The Two-Way, we have five audio clips that will give you a sense of the substance and testy exchanges throughout the proceedings.
1. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill.: “I’m not done with my question. I’m just giving you the courtesy to read your notes.”
After opening statements, Roskam got the first round of questioning off to a hot start. He seemed to suggest Clinton was “underselling” her role as the chief architect of the U.S. policy in Iraq. But not before he called attention to Clinton reading notes passed to her by aides.
2. Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.: “Who Chris Stevens had access to is one issue. Who had access to you and for what is another issue.”
The issue of who had access to Secretary Clinton was a major theme that was revisited several times during the all-day-and-through-the-evening hearing. Gowdy pressed Clinton on the processes she had in place to decipher what issues came directly to her and what was passed to others at the State Department.
3. Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., to Gowdy: “Inaccurate statements”
Just before the first of several breaks, Cummings and Gowdy got into a testy exchange over why the panel did not make public the lengthy interview it did with Bill Clinton’s former White House aide Sidney Blumenthal. Clinton sat back and watched the members spar.
4. Rep. Mike Pomeo, R-Kan.: “Did he have your fax number?”
Going back to an earlier theme of who had access to Clinton while she was at the State Department, Pompeo asked rapid-fire questions about whether Ambassador Stevens had things such as Clinton’s personal email or her home address.
5. Clinton: “The terrorists only have to be right once.”
In answering a friendlier line of questioning from Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, Clinton was asked about the proper balance the U.S. must strike in the future to protect personnel overseas and still allow them to fulfill their mission. Clinton praised diplomatic security professionals, saying they get it right “999 times out of a thousand.”