May 18th, 2014
10:37 AM ET
4 years ago

Dianne Feinstein on Benghazi panel: ‘It’s a hunting mission for a lynch mob’

(CNN) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein had some biting words Sunday about the newly formed House select committee to investigate the deadly 2012 terror attack against a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

“I think it's ridiculous,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think it's a hunting mission for a lynch mob.”

The Republican-controlled House approved the committee earlier this month. Despite several investigations into the attack, which left four Americans dead, Republicans argue there are still unanswered questions about the assault.

The issue is also being used as political ammunition against Hillary Clinton, who’s considering a 2016 presidential bid and was running the State Department at the time of the terror attack.

Feinstein on Sunday pointed to multiple reports, including one released by her own committee — the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — earlier this year. The report found that the attack was "likely preventable" based on known security shortfalls and prior warnings that the security situation there was deteriorating.

“We spent a year and a half on a report. We held hearings. Thousands of pages were reviewed. The staff spent hours and weeks on it,” Feinstein told CNN’s chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

She also noted the 2013 independent review by an Accountability Review Board, which found "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" in the lead-up to the attack. Four State Department officials were immediately disciplined.

Asked whether she thinks all the questions about Benghazi have been answered, Feinstein said, “I believe they have.”

“Our report was bipartisan,” she said. “They were certainly answered to the satisfaction of the intelligence committee.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, however, said Sunday that Clinton needs to be held accountable for the attack.

“I think she clearly bears responsibility for whatever the State Department did or didn't do with respect to that crisis,” the Republican said Sunday on Fox News. “I do think it's a major issue. I don't think we've heard the last of it yet. And I would expect that she will be held accountable during the course of the campaign.”

For her part, Clinton has said that as secretary of state, she was responsible for diplomats’ security and that Benghazi was her “biggest regret” at the State Department.

Benghazi, she said in January, "illustrated one of the biggest problems that I faced as secretary of state: We have a lot of dangerous locations where we send not our military, but our civilians. And they go in, they have language skills often, they try to assess what is going on in the area, but they are vulnerable."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Congress • Dianne Feinstein • Libya • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Dick Cheney talks about responsibility?!?! Oh, PLEEZE!!!

    May 18, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Thomas Harold Richards

    Why aren't Americans demanding justice for the killing of an Ambassador?

    Oh... That's right. Have to hide the fact that the Obama Administration lied (again) to the world and the fact Ibama would rather campaign in Vegas than act as a real President.

    May 18, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. rs

    It is literally, the "hunting of the snark". The GOP loves it's fictional conspiracies, and lacking evidence thereof sees that lack of evidence as proof.

    May 18, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Benghazi is another issue in which the Republicans are on the wrong side of history. Add it to a long list including but not limited to global warming, immigration reform, gay marriage, abortion, minimum wage, women's rights, protection of the environment, voter ID laws, income inequality, universal health care, and protection of voting rights of minorities.

    May 18, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. ChrisM

    Yep, and the Majority of Americans know it another hearing is a farce. . What do the republicans do or say that will help the Americans people. Nothing, absolutely Nothing

    May 18, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Chris

    I'm still waiting for the report on the 13 embassies that were attacked during the Bush administration. Guess I shouldn't hold my breath on that one.

    May 18, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Gunderson

    Well, Lessee,
    Sorry Sweetheart but it is an Assessment of the Obama Administration No more, No less. Obama ran for the job, but as has been stated, time and time again, wasn't, isn't up to the job. Welfare, yes (Ugh), Food Stamps. (Ugh), yes, Unemployment benefits (Ugh), yes. Spending other people's money (Ugh), yes. Foreign Policy, what's that? Whispering to Putin, after I get re-elected I will have more flexibility. Community Organizing, of course. And If you like your Nanny, you can keep your Nanny !! Any more questions. The Peasants have spoken!

    May 18, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. jpmichigan

    What the Democrats have forgotten is that 4 Americans were murdered in an area deemed USA Soil by terrorist due to the fact that this area was not secured. Other foreign ambassadors were removed due to the fact that Al-Queda was on the move, fact that this administration would not acknowledge.

    May 18, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Winston Smith

    Politically motivated smear tactics, brought forth by people that know they have no chance, no chance at all of winning the election in 2016. The more they try to muddy the water, the more people will turn against them. I hope they keep going down the self destructive path they've chosen.

    May 18, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Blake Norris

    As it should be.....

    May 18, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Lizzie

    rs, if it's republicans who ask the questions then it's called a fictional conspiracy, when democrats ask questions then it's all true and the guilty better be hung.

    May 18, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. HenryMiller

    The lady doth protest too much. What's she hiding?

    I'm using the term "lady" very loosely.

    May 18, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |

    @rs or any lib
    Please tell us what the administration did right on this situation and tell us what they did wrong?

    If it's more wrong than right then it's no conspiracy.

    May 18, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. eloc35

    @rs or any lib
    Please tell us what the administration did right on this situation and tell us what they did wrong?

    If it's more wrong than right then it's no conspiracy.

    May 18, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. COL, MC, FS, USAF, (Ret.)

    Whether better planning could have prevented harm is question 1. Whether a better response while being attacked could reduce harm is question 2. But the un-asked question is whether the sudden firings of the commander of Africa-COM and the naval Captain who responded to requests for assistance were authorized by the president. If those firings were appropriate, OK. But resistance to an investigation points out the president's doubt that he or the Secretary of State will find approval from Americans who will vote on his replacement.

    May 18, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Arnold

    The real lynch mob was led by Obama and NATO, as they mercilessly bombed Libya into submission.

    And recruited, armed and financed vicious terrorists who broke the back of one of the most progressive governments in Africa.

    Arnold Lockshin, political exile from the US living in Moscow

    May 18, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Peace

    I do not stop shaking my head when I hear about Benghazi. It is this administration which killed the then most wanted man on Earth. Hillary was also present that time (remember that remarkable pic of her holding her mouth). We heard from republicans then saying if they were in power, they could had done the same. Now I have a question for them: Wouldn't this incident happened if they were in power? Could terrorists be afraid to do what they in Benghazi worrying republicans being in power? And who was in power when Sept.11, 2001 occurred on American soil? Why didn't they stop it if at all they know how to stop terrorists striking. Absurd!

    May 18, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Thomas

    The GOP insist the investigation isn't political.

    Brought to you by the same fools who said there were WMD's in Iraq .

    House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued a new subpoena on Thursday demanding that Secretary of State John Kerry testify …

    When your first two kangaroo comities find nothing , why not have a third kangaroo court ?

    May 18, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    You have Cheney saying she should be investagated for the four deaths when under HIS watch 3000 were killed ON American soil when they had ADVANCED intelligence on these alcada terriost being IN our country and did nothing about it???? Cheney has to much American BLOOD on HIS hands to critizise anybody, the rest of the. GOP is just as guilty .

    May 18, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. king

    Did the repubs fund the state department as yet to give them quality security. Or they still running around bauling that govenment spend too much while using a meat cleaver to cut our diplomat security away. We need ti investigate these happy cutting repubs

    May 18, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel partisanship there.......of course!

    What a crock.........the Dems are really running scared now.........that the evidence is finally coming out, that it was a total cover up.

    May 18, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. What's in that Tea Anyway?

    Hey GOP/Tea Potties....go ahead and impeach Obama....I dare ya...I double dog dare ya....otherwise shut your pie holes because we're all tired of your whining about anything that you think gives your group of "non-thinkers" back to the white house. Unfortunately enough your efforts to "dumb down" the majority of America is failing miserably. No matter how much you guys ride around in your clown car screaming about "bad Obama" the majority of the public isn't homeschooled, bigots and/or otherwise fools.

    May 18, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. GhengisJohn

    All the politicalBs aside. I just want to know who gave the order to have our troops planes etc stand down and not help out an embassy being attacked. A general testified that only 3 people had that authority so who was it?

    May 18, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. barryinlasvegas

    Four Americans died & Hilary lied. It's a search for the truth. Something Democrats try to avoid as much as possible.

    May 18, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. yerkiddinright

    So how many committee investigations were held on the missing WMDs in Iraq? Seems like the GOP has spent 10 times more effort on trying to find a smoking gun on Bengali than they ever did on Iraq.

    May 18, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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