Hillary Clinton broke her silence on the Benghazi terror attacks Monday, claiming her “biggest regret” as secretary of state “was what happened in Benghazi.”
Clinton was being interviewed by a presenter at a New Orleans auto show Monday when she was asked whether she would take “any do-overs, relative to secretary of state?”
“Oh, sure,” she responded. “You make these choices based on imperfect information. And you make them to, as we say, the best of your ability, but that does’t mean there’s not going to be unforeseen consequences, unpredictable twists and turns.”
Then, surprisingly, she got specific. “You know — my — my biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi. It was a terrible tragedy, uuh — losing four Americans, two diplomats, and now it’s public so I can say, two CIA operatives. Losing an ambassador like Chris Stevens who was one of our very best and had served in Libya and across the Middle East and spoke Arabic.”
It was likely a painful admission for Clinton, who has largely shied away from discussing the controversy since being brought before Congress on the issue just over a year ago. But earlier this month, a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report concluded the attacks on American compounds in Benghazi could have been prevented, blaming State Department leadership for the mismanagement and denials of additional security.
Coupled with a suspected cover-up perpetrated by Clinton’s office, the 2016 presidential hopeful may have felt compelled to apologize — albeit indirectly — for the attacks to mitigate any political damage. But as she ramps up her campaign for president, it’s unlikely to be the last time she’ll have to address the Benghazi attacks.
Clinton was coy about her presidential prospects on Monday, however. “What are your plans for 2016,” the presenter asked, drawing a chuckle from Clinton and cheers from the crowd. “I have to say, I don’t know,” she said. “Not a very satisfactory answer, I know.”
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