Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham distorted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments in a Fox News interview about the September 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, falsely portraying her as trying to deflect blame.
According to Fox News host Greta Van Susteren's blog, Fox News reporter Wendell Goler spoke with Secretary Clinton in Peru today. Ingraham tweeted a link to notes on the interview and misrepresented them.
Ingraham conflated two responses that Secretary Clinton gave during the interview to imply that Clinton couldn't "speak to who knew what" regarding the September 11 Benghazi attack. In fact, Clinton's comments were about a separate IED attack in Benghazi in June.
Ingraham tweeted, "Hillary tries to defuse the Benghazi issue bef the debate--says she's responsible but 'can't speak to who knew what.' "
Goler's notes from the interview include Clinton saying she is "responsible for the State Dept, for the more than 60K people around the world," and that "decisions about security are made by security professionals." Goler's notes then say that Clinton responded to a question regarding a separate June IED attack:
Re June IED attack: "I can't speak to who knew what. We knew there were security breaches and problems throughout Libya. That's something that came about as the aftermath of the revolution to topple Ghadaffy with so many militias formed. So many weapons loose...it was taken into account by security professionals as they made their assessments."
Ingraham's suggestion that Clinton is trying to deflect blame is further contradicted by another interview Clinton gave on October 15. On CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront, foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott reported that Clinton "gave a set of interviews to network reporters" and "said the buck stops with her." Labott added that when she asked Clinton whether the White House was "just throwing the state Department under the bus," Clinton said, "Listen, this is my State Department. I take responsibility. Security for the U.S. diplomatic posts is a State Department function."
Fox News hosts have been aggressive in accusing Obama and his administration of perpetuating a "cover-up" of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. But the FBI is conducting an investigation into the attack, the State Department is setting up an independent panel to investigate it, and State Department officials have testified before a Republican-led congressional hearing.