Senior Fox News political analyst Brit Hume laid out why this week’s testimony on last September’s terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya could be problematic for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Hume, speaking on Tuesday’s broadcast of “America Live,” said there is no feasible way for her to escape any responsibility since she had to be involved in the crafting of the talking points that came out after the attack that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including then-U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
“There’s really no way for her to escape responsibility for this if this testimony does what we all expect now that it will do,” Hume said. “Of course, over the years in Washington I’ve seen many a hype hearing fail to live up to expectations. But if it does live up, there’s no way I think she can escape this. I think she recognized from the start that this was trouble. I don’t think it was an accident that Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador, who was kind of an unusual choice, was the person who went out on the Sunday shows to recite those talking points. I think then-Secretary Clinton knew that the talking points were shaky.”
“She may have participated in making them shaky,” Hume continued. “But she did not want any of that mud on her shoes that might be caused. And Susan Rice, of course, has paid a price for being the one who recited them. But we also know, as you suggest, Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman was involved in the crafting of those talking points. She reports directly or indirectly to Hillary Clinton, and she was telling the other people that were crafting the points that ‘my building,’ that means Hillary Clinton’s State Department, had a problem with this or that or the other thing and they were changed at her behest. Secretary Clinton cannot escape responsibility for that.”
Hume said that even if Clinton were able to show she had nothing to do with the Benghazi tragedy, it would demonstrate a dereliction of duty, something that could prove to be a burden on any potential presidential ambitions she has.
“Let’s assume that she claims that she didn’t have any responsibility for that,” Hume said. “What does that say about her stewardship of her department at a moment when a terrible thing has happened to an ambassador whom we’re to believe and she’s given every indication she had great faith in and cared a lot about? The murdered ambassador there was her subordinate. The staff there at the embassy were her subordinates. So if she took a walk during this, that doesn’t exactly recommend her for the person that will receive the middle of the night phone calls, does it?”
“I mean, I don’t think there’s any way for her to escape this even if she succeeds in arguing that she didn’t have her fingerprints on it,” he continued. “If she didn’t, she should have. And when she heard the talking points recited, she had to know they were wrong. If she didn’t, that’s dereliction. And if she didn’t know they were wrong, she should have said something. So she’s — I just don’t think there’s any way out, really. Look, she’ll get a vast amount of forgiveness. She’s an icon of the Democratic Party. A lot of people in the media will want to excuse her if they can, but the facts will prove too heavy.”
Hume also said Clinton’s service at the State Department wasn’t particularly distinguished, which is another thing political opponents could use against her in a primary and/or general election.
“We’ll have to see how bad it gets, but it’s certainly a weapon in the hands of her potential opponents, both within her party and in a general election if she gets that far,” he said. “And the other thing, Megyn, is this also contributes to another question, which is — was she really a very successful and special secretary of state? I think the case for that is pretty weak. There was no great Clinton doctrine in foreign policy. Are there any treaties that she forwarded and help negotiate that made a big difference? Is the situation in the Middle East, which has always been a tinderbox that every American secretary of state must deal with — is that markedly improved by virtue of her stewardship of the State Department? I think the answer to all of those questions is probably no. So is this really a great credential for her as the last job she held going into a presidential campaign?”