Feinstein Defends Clinton Against ‘Patently False’ Benghazi Blame

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) came to the defense of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday after some Senate Republicans blamed the State Department for the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

“Statements on the Senate floor this morning and some media reports about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report on the attack against our diplomatic mission and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, intimate that the report assigns culpability to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the tragedy,” Feinstein said in a statement. “This is patently false.”

The Senate released its delayed report on the attacks Wednesday and concluded that the State Department and intelligence agencies could have prevented the deadly assault. Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for the State Department and Clinton to be held accountable.

“I want the record to be clear: I condemn any effort to use this report for political purposes,” Feinstein said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman noted that Clinton’s name is not mentioned once in the bipartisan report itself.

“I regret that the ‘Additional Views’ of the report adopted solely by six members of the Republican minority unfairly criticizes Secretary Clinton,” she said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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