Hillary Clinton was called out during the debate last night by Univision anchor Jorge Ramos for not answering questions on the email scandal or Benghazi.
Ramos began his questioning at the Miami event with full disclosure that his daughter, Paula, works for Clinton’s campaign.
“When you were secretary of State, you wrote 104 emails in your private server that the government now says contain classified information, according to The Washington Post analysis,” Ramos said. “That goes against a memo that you personally sent to your employees in 2011 directing all of them to use official email, precisely because of security concerns. So it seems that you issued one set of rules for yourself and a different set of rules for the rest of the State Department.”
“So who specifically gave you permission to operate your email system as you did? Was it President Barack Obama? And would you drop out of the race if you get indicted?”
Clinton said she was “going to give the same answer I’ve been giving for many months.”
“It wasn’t the best choice. I made a mistake. It was not prohibited. It was not in any way disallowed. And as I have said and as now has come out, my predecessors did the same thing and many other people in the government. But here’s the cut-to-the-chase facts. I did not send or receive any emails marked classified at the time. What you are talking about is retroactive classification. And the reason that happens is when somebody asks or when you are asked to make information public, I asked all my emails to be made public. Then all the rest of the government gets to weigh in,” she said.
“And some other parts of the government, we’re not exactly sure who, has concluded that some of the emails should be now retroactively classified. They’ve just said the same thing to former Secretary Colin Powell. They have said, we’re going to retroactively classify emails you sent personally. Now I think he was right when he said this is an absurdity. And I think that what we have got here is a case of overclassification.”
Hillary added, “I am not concerned about it. I am not worried about it and no Democrat or American should be either.”
“Secretary Clinton, the questions were, who gave you permission…was it President Obama?” Ramos asked.
“There was no permission to be asked. It had been done by my predecessors. It was permitted,” she replied.
“If you get indicted would you drop out?” Ramos persisted.
Clinton was exasperated. “Oh, for goodness — that’s not going to happen. I’m not even answering that question.”
Later in the debate, the minute Ramos began asking a question about Benghazi much of the audience started booing.
The Univision journalist played video for Clinton of Benghazi victim Sean Smith’s mother stating that Hillary and others in the administration lied when they told her a protest over a YouTube video was behind the 2012 attack.
“Secretary Clinton, did you lie to them?” Ramos asked.
“You know, look. I feel a great deal of sympathy for the families of the four brave Americans that we lost at Benghazi. And I certainly can’t even imagine the grief that she has for losing her son, but she’s wrong. She’s absolutely wrong,” Clinton said.
“I and everybody in the administration, all the people she named, the president, the vice president, Susan Rice, we were scrambling to get information that was changing, literally by the hour. And when we had information, we made it public. But then sometimes we had to go back and say we have new information that contradicts it.”
She added that “this is not the first time we lost Americans in a terrorist attack,” listing attacks in Tanzania and Kenya, Beirut and 9/11. “And at no other time were those tragedies were they politicized.”
“But Secretary Clinton, what they’re saying is that — what the families are saying is that you told your daughter Chelsea one thing and a different thing to them,” Ramos continued.
Clinton contended “that makes my point.”
“At the time I e-mailed with my daughter, a terrorist group had taken credit for the attacks on our facility in Benghazi. Within 16, 18 hours, they rescinded taking credit. They did it all on social media. And the video did play a role,” she said.
“We have captured one of the lead terrorists and he admits it was both a terrorist attack and it was influenced by the video. This was fog of war. This was complicated. The most effective, comprehensive reports and studies demonstrate that. Look, as I said in the beginning, I deeply regret that we lost four Americans.”
Watch the video on the next page.