Sec. Hillary Clinton became combative Wednesday at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Benghazi attack, clashing with Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) over the talking points given to Ambassador Rice, at what point announcing, “What difference at this point does it make?”:
CLINTON: Senator, when you’re in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on, number one.
JOHNSON: I realize that’s a good excuse but –
CLINTON:Well, no, it’s the fact. Number two, I would recommend highly you read both what the ARB said about it and the classified ARB, because even today there are questions being raised. now, we have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants, they killed our people. but what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing –
JOHNSON: Again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and then something sprang out of that, an assault sprayed out of that and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact and the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that.
CLINTON: With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans–was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night and decided to go kill some Americans? 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. Now honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The I.C. has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But, you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today, looking backwards, as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.