Heated exchange between Sec. Clinton and Wisconsin Sen. Johnson
Secretary Clinton answers questions about the Benghazi attack during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) asks questions about the Benghazi attack during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
WASHINGTON (WAOW) - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton went to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. That attack killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) challenged Clinton about why Ambassador Susan Rice described the attack on the mission in Benghazi as part of a protest.
Clinton retorted, "What difference did it make?" how the terrorist attack was described.
Sen. Johnson: No, no, no, no, I'm -- I -- again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and then something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that. And that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact -- Sec. Clinton: But could -- but, you know -- Sen. Johnson: -- and the American people could have known that within days, and they didn't know that. Sec. Clinton: And -- with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Sen. Johnson: I understand. Sec. Clinton: 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? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this. But the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But, you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we'll figure out what was going on in the meantime. Sen. Johnson: OK. Thank you, Madam Secretary.