‘Danged if I know’: Susan Rice seems to scoff at Benghazi probe question
By Catherine Herridge
Published May 15, 2014
National Security Adviser Susan Rice, at a foreign policy lunch on Wednesday, seemed to scoff at a question on whether a select committee investigation on Benghazi would reveal new evidence.
"Danged if I know," Rice said, to audience laughter. "I mean honestly, the administration has produced, I think, 25,000 pages of documents. ... It's hard to imagine what further will come of yet another committee. What I think about and focus on as the national security adviser is what we must do with Congress to increase our security of our embassies and facilities around the world."
She was addressing the decision last week by the House to establish a select committee investigation. Rice on Wednesday steered away from the issue of her national TV appearances in 2012 in which she wrongly linked an anti-Islam video to the terrorist attack.
"What is lost in all of this discussion about Sunday shows and talking points is that we lost four brave Americans on that day, " Rice said.
Without referring directly to the Benghazi attack, and the recent appointment of the congressional select committee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also discussed foreign policy on Wednesday before the American Jewish Committee, a Jewish advocacy group. She said making policy is a balancing act.
"There are always choices that we later regret, consequences we do not foresee, alternative paths we wish we had taken but hopefully we get it more right than wrong," she said.
At a separate event, Bill Clinton offered a strong defense of his wife: "In my opinion, Hillary did what she should have done."
But the former president didn't mention that the State Department Benghazi investigation -- led by retired Adm. Mike Mullen and former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering -- never interviewed Mrs. Clinton.
"They looked into what was wrong," Bill Clinton explained. "They gave 29 recommendations. She took 'em and started implementing them. "
Despite the growing threat in Benghazi, well-documented by the U.S. intelligence community, the former president suggested little could have been done to prevent the attack. "No one had advance notice that this would happen as nearly as I can tell, so I just think we should let the report speak for itself."
In an interview with the Fusion cable network, current CIA director John Brennan seemed to choose his words carefully.
"Finally on Benghazi, did you know, director, from the beginning that it was a terrorist attack?" anchor Jorge Ramos asked.
"You know, in the heat of an event such as Benghazi, there are a lot of different bits and pieces of information that you try to piece together. I think clearly, early on it was seen as an assault, and it was seen as a very dangerous one that was putting the lives of our diplomats at risk," Brennan said.
"So whether or not you call it a terrorist attack or an assault or a violent confrontation that unfortunately led to the death of four Americans, it is something that we need to make sure that we are able to get to the bottom of and as you say, bring the people responsible for that to justice. it."