Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton sat down with the editorial board of New Hampshire’s Conway Daily Sun on Tuesday — and thanks to conservative columnist Tom McLaughlin, it did not go as smoothly as she would have liked. A question Clinton struggled to answer when it was put to her by George Stephanopoulos on December 6 came back to haunt her on Tuesday when McLaughlin asked her about private statements she had made blaming the Benghazi terrorist attack on “an al-Qaeda-like group” while publicly blaming a YouTube video.
Sun Columnist Tom McLaughlin said she told an Egyptian diplomat the Benghazi attack was planned and not a protest but that she told family members of the deceased that the attack was the result of a demonstration. He said she then told George Stephanopoulos that she didn’t tell the families the attack was a demonstration about a film.
“Somebody is lying,” said McLaughlin.”Who is it?
Clinton replied, “Not me, that’s all I can tell you.”
At the time, Clinton said, everyone was emotionally distraught. She said some families didn’t know their sons were working for the CIA or were in Benghazi. Clinton said the information she had about the attack was from the intelligence community.
“What happened is people were doing the best they could with information that was changing,” said Clinton. “The CIA wrote and approved the talking points that were used. It was also true that from Egypt to Tunisia to Pakistan, the video was the primary spark that was sending people into protesting against our facilities. All of this was happening simultaneously.”
Continuing to press, McLaughlin said three family members of the victims said that Clinton told him that the attack was the result of the video and or that the filmmaker should be arrested.
Clinton replied that other family members believe differently and stressed she had sympathy for all involved. “I can’t recite for you everything that was in a conversation where people were sobbing, where people were distraught, the president and the vice president, we were all making the rounds talking to people, listening to people,” said Clinton. “I was in a very difficult position because we have not yet said two of the four dead were CIA … This was a part of the fog of war.”
It would have been nice if Clinton had been asked which “other family members believe differently” — because at least four family members say that when she met with them, she aggressively pushed the false YouTube video narrative.
Four different relatives of three separate victims who met with Clinton at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept 14, 2012, have publicly stated that she spoke with them about the video: Patricia Smith (Sean Smith’s mother), Michael Ingmire (Sean Smith’s uncle), Kate Quigley (Glen Doherty’s sister), and Charles Woods (Tyrone Woods’ father). The latter kept written notes from the meeting.
Thanks to a recently released email, we now know that on that same day, a State Department official at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli in Libya warned colleagues in Washington, D.C., to “not conflate” the video with “this well-planned attack by militant extremists.”
Yet that is what Hillary Clinton did — at least publicly. Clinton implied that she got her talking points from the CIA, but they knew better according to Morell. In his May 2015 book, The Great War of Our Time, Morell wrote that CIA intelligence analysts “never said the video was a factor in the Benghazi attacks.” (p. 205-206) According to Morell, “the analysts thought Benghazi was terrorism from the beginning” (p. 219).
Morell also says in his book that CIA analysts “complet[ed] their first full report on what happened” and provided it to “senior policy-makers and to Congress on the morning of September 13.”
It was “the first piece to go beyond a simple factual update” and “there was no mention in the piece of the YouTube video defaming the Prophet Muhammad.”
Clearly, Clinton did not get her YouTube video talking points from the CIA.
As Glen Doherty’s sister Kate Quigley noted on the Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” show on December 9, “She knows that she knew what happened that day and she wasn’t truthful.… ”
Indeed. She continues to be untruthful because she’s entangled in a web of lies she spun herself.
Hillary Clinton should be hounded about her “most repugnant lie” — as the New York Post calls it — every single day until the 2016 presidential election. She won’t be — but we should savor those rare moments when she is.