Republicans urged to be 'respectful' of Clinton in hearing
January 23rd, 2013
08:12 AM ET
1 year ago

Republicans urged to be 'respectful' of Clinton in hearing

(CNN) - House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-California, met with Republicans on the committee and urged them to be respectful of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a GOP member of the Committee tells CNN.

Clinton will testify Wednesday before the committee on the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya in September that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador. She testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier in the day, where she gave her own statement and took questions in the two-and-a-half-hour hearing.

While most lawmakers on both sides of the aisle genuinely do respect Clinton and don't have to be told, there was concern some new House members may try to be combative in order to make an early name for themselves.

Clinton was originally scheduled to testify last month but postponed her appearance as she was treated for illness, a concussion and a blood clot near her brain. The country's top diplomat returned to work just over two weeks ago.

In her Senate testimony earlier Wednesday, most senators praised Clinton for her service over the last four years before they asked their questions. Only a few Republicans delivered somewhat blistering comments to the secretary of state. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said if he had been president, he would have fired her for not reading certain cables about security in Libya.

Clinton mostly maintained a straight-forward tone, though she grew emotional at times when talking about the victims' families. And at one point, Clinton shouted in response to repeated questions from Republican Sen. Ron Johnson about the talking points released after the attack.


VIDEO: Clinton to face broader questions at Benghazi hearing

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Clinton is "going to get some very hard questions" on the State Department's role in handling security for diplomatic security in Libya before the attack, as well as what Clinton was doing the night of the violence.

"We had an ambassador missing for something like seven hours with no assets brought in" for a response, he said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

Asked if her positive reputation in Washington may hinder some lawmakers from grilling the secretary, Chaffetz agreed that she's "held in high esteem" but said she'll still face tough questions.

"Yeah we have a great deal of respect of her, but these are the questions," he said. "My concern is moving forward that we didn't actually solve these problems and that's the deep concern and question for the secretary."

An independent report from the Accountability Review Board ordered by the State Department said it did not find "that any individual U.S. Government employee engaged in misconduct or willfully ignored his or her responsibilities" leading up to the attack. However, one State Department official resigned and three others were placed on administrative leave after the report was released in December.

Two months earlier, as President Barack Obama faced scrutiny over the Libya attack, Clinton said the buck stops at her desk, not his.

"I take responsibility. I'm in charge of the State Department," Clinton told CNN's Elise Labott in October. It was a statement Clinton repeated several times in her Senate testimony.


Filed under: Congress • Hillary Clinton • Libya • State Department
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Wilson

    @Lynda/Minnesota

    "Whichever. When you sound like that it makes your postings irrelevant, and any point you try to make gets lost/ignored."

    Points ignored only by you, Wilson. Ignored only by you. Or maybe not ignored by you at all. One could argue that in commenting as you did, you took defensive umbrage over what was said but was not specifically directed at you personally.
    -----------------------------–
    Nawww. I'm just weary that every time someone disagrees with a policy or program from this administration, they are automatically a "racist." And in their commentary throwing the non-existent "race card," the comments sound like the commenter is racist themselves. Check out Tom Paine's response to me earlier. I'm automatically a "subtle" racist. When he fails to call out not-so-subtle racist commentary from others on here, i.e. woman from california, wake up people, sniffit, and even some of your comments from time to time are not so subtle.

    January 23, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. ja

    the same folk didn't call for hearings on the WMD lies

    January 23, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Kim

    I don’t understand how the person the started the tweet can go off about honesty when they take OUT of context a statement made by Senator Clinton and then twist to their own perverse means. It is so frustrating when people are so petty and mean and only want to start trouble.
    Also Senator McCane needs to retire and go sit on his grumpy hill. He is the most agitating Republican who just likes to sit and judge the world. His display at the hearing was more embarrassing than anything. He looks more like a sore looser and angry Republican than anything else. I personally don’t think after his tirade that he wanted any real answers. I think he was looking to just find a way to belittle Senator Clinton and fill his sails with a lot of hot air.
    Truly is the negative and demeaning display a way of working through this sad situation and to ensure that we learn from it and move forward?
    So the tweeter and Mr. McCane are two people that need to look at their own values and honesty.

    January 23, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. CBP

    Thank you Larry L. Your post needs to be read over and over again. Unfortunately we do not give people the benefit of the doubt. When we decide we do not lie a politician or a president we start making accusations which border on the truth but never quite make it to being the truth. Mrs. Clinton was asked some pretty lame questions. Sen. Johnson did not have the information he needed to ask his question. He was out to get Mrs. Clinton. For people to make their accusations and to us character assassination in their posts just proves the point that this is a witch hunt. Not one Senator or Representative admitted to cutting the security budget which made our ability to keep our people secure that much more difficult. Of course, these same politicians visit these countries and require even more security while they are in the country. There is enough blame to go around more than once. Let's fix the problem and make sure our people are as safe as we can make them but remember that they are serving in countries where terrorists also reside. We need to move on and to fix the problems.

    January 23, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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