Secretary of State Hillary Clinton erupted at Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) during his questioning Wednesday over whether there were protests in Benghazi, Libya before the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission.
Johnson was insisting that the American people were "misled" about protests that supposedly occurred over an anti-Islam video, similar to those that had taken place at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo hours earlier on Sept. 11, 2012. It was later determined there had been no protests in Benghazi and the assault was labeled a terrorist attack.
"Do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened would have ascertained immediately that there was no protest?" Johnson asked Clinton during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. "That was a piece of information that could have been easily, easily obtained, within hours if not days."
"Senator, when you're in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on -- " Clinton started to answer.
" -- I realize that's a good excuse," Johnson cut in.
"Well, no, it's the fact," Clinton said sharply, adding that there are questions being raised "even today" about what precisely happened in Benghazi.
She continued, "Now, we have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants, they attacked us, they killed our people. But what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing, is still -- "
"No, no, no, again, again -- we were misled that there were supposedly protests and then something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact and the American people could have known that within days," Johnson said. "And they didn't know that."
"With all respect, the fact is we have four dead Americans was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans," Clinton shouted. "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."
"What difference at this point does it make?!" whether there was a protest. Clinton yells at Ron Johnson. Damn.
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) January 23, 2013
#SecClinton yells at Sen Ron Johnson on whether there were protests b/f the #Benghazi attack "What difference at this point does it make?!"
— Dana Hughes (@dana_hughes) January 23, 2013
Hillary just erupted over talking points controversy, saying "what difference does it make?" and that issue is to prevent it happening again
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) January 23, 2013