Hillary Clinton is denying once again that she told family members of Benghazi attack victims that a video was to blame for the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks — leaving only the possibility that the families are either lying or grossly mistaken about what the then-secretary of state told them in private.
During an editorial board meeting with The Conway (N.H.) Daily Sun, Clinton was asked about an interview she recently had with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in which she denied that she told family members of the Benghazi victims during a Sept. 14, 2012 memorial service at Andrews Air Force Base that the film “Innocence of Muslims” was the catalyst for the attack.
The family members have publicly disputed Clinton’s claims, saying that the then-secretary of state explicitly blamed the film that day and said that she would go after the maker of the film, which many Muslims considered offensive.
Daily Sun columnist Tom McLaughlin pressed Clinton on the conflicting claims.
“Somebody is lying,” McLaughlin said during the editorial meeting. “Who is it?
“Not me, that’s all I can tell you,” Clinton replied.But Clinton’s critics are disinclined to believe her, especially given that she gave conflicting accounts in private and in public of what motivated the attacks.
One glaring example of that is an email Clinton sent to her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, on the night of the attacks, claiming that they were carried out by “an Al Queda-like [sic] group.” (RELATED: Hillary Told Daughter Chelsea That Terrorists Were Behind Benghazi Attack The Night It Happened)
And according to notes from a phone call that Clinton had with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil the next day, she acknowledged that “we know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest.”
At least four Benghazi victims’ family members have said that Clinton talked about the importance of the video — which was produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula — during the Sept. 14, 2012 memorial service.
Charles Woods, the father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, said that Clinton even told him that she was going to have Nakoula arrested.
“We are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son,” Woods told The Weekly Standard in October, reading from notes he took following his conversation with Clinton.
“I remember those words: ‘who was responsible for the death of your son.’ She was blaming him and blaming the movie,” he added.
Nakoula was arrested in late Sept. 2012 for probation violations.
Kate Quigley, the sister of Glen Doherty, has also disputed Clinton’s claims.
“She knows that she knew what happened that day and she wasn’t truthful,” Quigley said in a Dec. 9 interview. “I know what she said to me.”
“She lied, she absolutely lied,” Patricia Smith, the mother of State Department information management officer Sean Smith, said of Clinton during an interview with Fox Business last month. “Her daughter was able to be told differently that it was not the video, that it was something else. If her daughter could be told, why couldn’t I?”
Asked by the Sun’s McLaughlin about the conflicting accounts, Clinton said: “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.”
“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,” she added.
During her Dec. 6 interview with Stephanopoulos, Clinton specifically denied that she spoke to the families about the video or the filmmaker. She also said that she “can’t help it” that the Benghazi victims’ families believe that she fingered the video during their private conversations.
“I understand the continuing grief at the loss that parents experienced with the loss of these four brave Americans. And I did testify, as you know, for 11 hours. And I answered all of these questions,” Clinton added. “Now, I can’t — I can’t help it that people think there has to be something else there.”