Daily Beast columnist Eleanor Clift chose not to back off her bizarre remarks that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was not murdered in the Benghazi terrorist attacks, telling Newsmax that she still thought Stevens had died of "smoke inhalation."
Clift first made the statement in a May 11 taping of The McLaughlin Group, stunning fellow panelists Pat Buchanan and Susan Ferrechio. Newsmax host Steve Malzberg asked her to clarify her remarks, and she instead doubled down.
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"I was taking issue with the sort of glib use of the word ‘murdered,’ Clift said. "I think dying of smoke inhalation in the safe room of a CIA outpost has a slightly different feeling, and my point is that it was a very chaotic event. The CIA was involved which is why there was a lot of confusion initially, and that all the questions that this special committee is raising have been asked and answered in previous investigations."
She said she didn't wish to take back the comments. Malzberg brought up the 9/11 attacks, pointing out the people who jumped from the burning buildings at the World Trade Center and whether they were murdered.
"I was just trying to add a little bit of complexity, and I’m going to stick with what I said," Clift said.
Malzberg gave her repeated opportunities to amend her remarks.
"If you die in a terrorist attack, were you not murdered?" he asked incredulously.
"Sir, I'm going to stick with my explanation," she said.