Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got testy on Capitol Hill Wednesday in response to a query from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who called into question her department’s accounting of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Facing expected scrutiny from Republicans during her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton appeared to take exception to Johnson’s pointed inquiry into the State Department’s initial report that the attack had been mounted spontaneously as a reaction to an anti-Islam YouTube video.
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” Clinton responded, raising her voice at Johnson, who continued to interrupt her. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk last night who decided to kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”
Clinton continued, defending the State Department’s efforts in the wake of the assault. “Honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is people were trying their best in real time to get to the best information,” she said.
Earlier in the hearing, Clinton spoke about the aftermath of the attack, her voice cracking as she recalled meeting the families of the four Americans killed, including that of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.