'I take responsibility' for Benghazi, Clinton tells CNN
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday told CNN that she assumes responsibility for last month's deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
"I take responsibility" for what happened on September 11, Clinton said in an interview during a visit to Lima, Peru.
She added: "I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha," citing the November 6 presidential election. She insisted President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden had not been involved in security decisions related to the consulate.
The attacks on the Benghazi mission, and the Obama administration's response to the violence, has become a contentious election issue and Clinton's comments came a day before the second presidential debate between Obama and Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
Romney has seized on the attack and said the death of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans killed at the consulate reveal weakness in Obama's foreign policy. Romney has accused the administration of not providing adequate security to American diplomats and misrepresenting the nature of the attack.
Foreign policy has been considered a strength for Obama, who has been praised for the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the withdrawal of troops from unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Congress has increased pressure on the State Department to release information about the attack. Obama and Clinton have both vowed a full investigation.
"We can't not engage," Clinton told CNN. "We cannot retreat."
Clinton also sought to play down criticism that the administration initially linked the violence to deaths to a protest over an anti-Muslim film.
There is always "confusion" after an attack, she said.
(Reporting By Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- China's Xiaomi hopes Mi 4 smartphone can take on Apple
- Rebels likely downed Malaysian jet 'by mistake' - U.S. officials
- UPDATE 3-Rebels likely downed Malaysian jet 'by mistake' -U.S. officials
- Italy gives Google 18 months to change data use practices
- Nifty hits record high on foreign buying, higher Asian stocks
The Nifty rose to a record high on Wednesday, led by gains in blue-chips such as ICICI Bank on continued foreign-investor buying, while higher Asian shares also helped sentiment. Full Article
Bullish on Indian equities, but gains seen 'less sharp'- Goldman Sachs Full Article
Jet Airways chairman says looking to restructure debts, talking to bankers Full Article
Honda's India unit to account for 25 pct of Asia Pacific sales by March 2017 - exec Full Article
Supreme Court could allow Sahara boss to conduct asset sale talks, company says. Full Article
Five held in China food scandal probe, including head of Shanghai Husi Food Full Article