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Started as a 'Routine Day': The Full, Unbelievable & Detailed Timeline Given by One Benghazi Whistleblower

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"We're under attack."

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: State Department foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission/charge d'affairs in Libya, Gregory Hicks testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a hearing titled, 'Benghazi: Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage' in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is leading the GOP investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012, assaults that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, which is now focused on the State Department and whether officials there deliberately misled the public about the nature of the assault. Credit: Getty Images

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A former top U.S. diplomat in Libya described publicly for the first time the deadly events that took place in Benghazi last September, culminating in the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya who became the top-ranking diplomat in the country after Christopher Stevens' death, was in Tripoli at the time of the assault. He told members of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday how he came to learn that the ambassador had been killed -- and how his staff received calls afterward from unidentified Libyans claiming they had Stevens, which they suspected was a trap.

"It was a routine day at our embassy," Hicks said. He had been in touch with Stevens about the demonstrations at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, but said there was absolutely nothing of the sort happening in Libya.

The actual assault on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, unfolded in several stages, Hicks said. When it began, he received a call from Stevens in Benghazi telling him, "Greg, we're under attack."

Stevens subsequently went missing, and Hicks described how he tried to get help to evacuate his colleagues. Hicks estimated there were as many as 60 attackers in the compound at one time.

Hicks spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton around 2 a.m. local time to give her an update. At 3 a.m., he received a call from the Libyan prime minister informing him that Stevens was dead.

"I think it's the saddest phone call I've ever received in my life," he said.

Watch Hicks' full description below, via Mediaite:

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