Fox's Kelly Interviews Rep. Chaffetz And Ignores His Hypocrisy Over Embassy Security
Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE
Megyn Kelly hosted Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's supposed lack of concern over the security issues at American facilities in Libya. During the interview there was no mention of Rep. Chaffetz's own vote to cut funding to embassy security or reports that have undermined right-wing attacks on Clinton.
On Fox News' America Live, Kelly provided Chaffetz with numerous opportunities to bash Clinton - asking if Clinton "blatantly lied" over requests being made for more security at the embassy, allowing Chaffetz to make claims that Clinton personally denied more security for the embassy, and speculating that there are documents being hidden from lawmakers that prove Clinton had direct knowledge regarding the lack of security at the embassy.
While providing Chaffetz opportunities to attack Clinton, Kelly failed to note that several outlets have pointed out significant flaws in the GOP's report. Chaffetz' claims are largely based on an April 2012 cable that responded to requests for additional security resources. While the cable was sent under Clinton's name, this does not necessarily indicate her direct involvement. As Foreign Policy magazine pointed out:
It's not clear who in the State Department sent the April 19 response. But as a general rule, "every single cable sent from Washington to the field is sent over the secretary of state's name," a former State Department official noted, adding, "Though they are trying to make this new, it's not. After 30+ hearings and briefings, thousands of pages, this has all been addressed."
Kelly also did not challenge Chaffetz on his vote to cut funding for embassy security, nor did she point out that Chaffetz justified his vote as an attempt to "make priorities and choices" in an interview on CNN with Soledad O'Brien:
O'BRIEN: Is it true that you voted to cut the funding for embassy security?
CHAFFETZ: Absolutely. Look, we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have -- think about this -- 15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, private army there for President Obama in Baghdad.
And we're talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces? When you're in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices how to prioritize this.
O'BRIEN: OK, so you're prioritizing. So when there are complaints that, in fact, that there was not enough security, you've just said absolutely, that you cut.
You are the one to vote against, you know, to increase security for the State Department, which would lead directly to Benghazi. That seems like you're saying you have a hand in the responsibility to this.
According to The New York Times, House Republicans cut "nearly a half-billion dollars from the State Department's two main security accounts." The cuts included local guards, armored vehicles, and security technology.