Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deflects Republican criticism of her handling of the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya during testimony to Congress. Diane Hodges reports.
The former Secretary of State and current presidential hopeful began her testimony by urging the Republican-controlled committee investigating the deadly attacks in Benghazi to rise above partisanship and focus on ensuring the safety of U.S. workers (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HILLARY CLINTON, SAYING: "I am here to honor those we lost and to do what I can to aid those who serve us still." But the fact that Hillary Clinton was there at all was controversial. Chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican, made a point of denying accusations that the investigation's real aim was to damage Clinton's presidential campaign. (SOUNDBITE)(English) REP. TREY GOWDY , SAYING: "Madame Secretary, I understand some people - frankly in both parties - have suggested this investigation is about you. Let me assure you it is not." But tensions continued to erupt throughout the day-long hearing - this time between Clinton and Republican Representative Peter Roskam. SOT: CLINTON, SAYING: "No one recommended closing the post in Benghazi." ROSKAM, SAYING: "No one recommended closing it, but you had several ambassadors that made requests and here's what happened to their requests...they were torn up." CLINTON, SAYING: "That's just not true." On another occasion, the hostility broke out between the ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, and Chairman Gowdy. SOT: GOWDY, SAYING: "Why is it that you only want to have Mr. Blumenthal's transcript released?" SOT: REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, SAYING: "I'd like to have all of 'em released." The back and forth continued..but the hours of testimony are unlikely to end the controversy over the attacks, that claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at U.S. facilities in Libya.