This is from Hillary Clinton’s exchange with Sen. Ron Johnson in the Senate on Jan. 23 where she denies that she knew of any other report that contradicted the talking points that Susan Rice used on the Sunday morning talk shows:
I certainly did not know of any reports that contradicted the IC talking points at the time that Ambassador Rice went on the TV shows.
Considering that Gregory Hicks, the original source of all information coming out of Libya the night of the Benghazi attacks, testified that he never suggested or said there was a protest that morphed into a terrorist attack, and that he also said the YouTube video was a non-event in Libya, it does appear that this is a lie by Hillary Clinton. Hicks made clear several times yesterday that the only message that he conveyed to all US government channels was that it was a terrorist attack and that it looked like Ansar al-Sharia was responsible.
Watch the video:
SEC. CLINTON: …the FBI spoke to them before we spoke to them. And so other than our people in Tripoli, which — I think you’re talking about Washington, right?
SEN. JOHNSON: Yeah. The point–the point I’m making is a very simple phone call to these individuals I think would have ascertained immediately that there was no protest prior to this. I mean, this attack started at 9:40 p.m., Benghazi time, and it was an assault — and I appreciate the fact that you called it an assault. ….
SEC. CLINTON: Well –
SEN. JOHNSON: Why wasn’t that known? And again, I appreciate the fact of the transparency of this — of this hearing, but why weren’t we transparent at that point in time?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, first of all, Senator, I would say that once the assault happened and once we got our people rescued and out, our most immediate concern was, number one, taking care of their injuries — as I said, I still a DS agent at Walter Reed seriously injured — getting them into Frankfurt, Ramstein –
SEN. JOHNSON: Is that –
SEC. CLINTON: — to get taken care of, the FBI going over immediately to start talking to them — we did not think it was appropriate for us to talk to them before the FBI conducted their interviews, so — and we did not — I think this is accurate, sir — I certainly did not know of any reports that contradicted the IC talking points at the time that Ambassador Rice went on the TV shows.
And, you know, I just want to say that, you know, people have accused Ambassador Rice and the administration of, you know, misleading Americans. I can say, trying to be in the middle of this and understanding what was going on, nothing could be further from the truth. Was information developing? Was the situation fluid? Would we reach conclusions later that weren’t reached initially? And I appreciate the –
SEN. JOHNSON: But Madam Secretary, do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened wouldn’t have — wouldn’t have ascertained immediately that there was no protest?
I mean, that was — that was a piece of information that could have been easily, easily obtained –
SEC. CLINTON: Well, but Senator, again –
SEN. JOHNSON: — within hours, if not days.
SEC. CLINTON: Senator, I — you know, when you’re in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on, number one. Number two — number two at –
SEN. JOHNSON: Well, that’s — I realize — I realize that’s — I realize that’s a good excuse, but –
SEC. 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 attacked us, they killed our people, but what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing is still — is still unknown.
SEN. JOHNSON: No, no, no, no, I’m — I — 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 –
SEC. CLINTON: But could — but, you know –
SEN. JOHNSON: — and the American people could have known that within days, and they didn’t know that.
SEC. CLINTON: And — with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans.
SEN. JOHNSON: I understand.
SEC. CLINTON: 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? 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.