WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the more emotional moments of Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Benghazi committee on Thursday was an exchange she had with Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., in response to his questioning.
Clinton recounted the regret and pain she felt following the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead and raised subsequent allegations she had not done enough to protect personnel there.
“It’s a very personally painful accusation. It has been rejected and disproven by nonpartisan, dispassionate investigators, but nevertheless, having it continued to be bandied around is deeply distressing to me,” Clinton said. “You know, I would imagine that I’ve thought far more about what happened than all of you put together. I’ve lost more sleep than all of you put together.”
Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack, spent much of the first few hours of the hearing being questioned about security at the facility, a diplomatic compound located at a distance from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
Schiff had asked Clinton to comment on Republican insinuations that she “interfered” with security in Benghazi.
“I have been racking my brain about what more could have been or should have been done,” she said.
During the hearing, Clinton repeatedly pointed out she conducted a security review following the incident and that improvements had been made even before the attack.
Ahead of the hearing, a Clinton staffer told Yahoo News she planned to strike a somber tone at the hearing.
“She’ll approach it in a very sober, solemn manner notwithstanding all the admissions and various things that have come to light over the last several weeks,” the staffer said.
In recent weeks, Republican members of the committee have made comments suggesting the committee was an effort to harm Clinton politically. In talking
points distributed to surrogates on Oct. 12 that were obtained by Yahoo News, the Clinton campaign argued these remarks exposed the committee as a “partisan plot” that “has nothing to do with Benghazi.”