Former Security of State Hillary Clinton channeled her righteous anger on Thursday to defend the integrity of security officials who protect U.S. diplomats across the globe.
“I would put them up against anybody,” Clinton told a GOP congressman during testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. “And I just cannot allow any comment to be in the record in any way criticizing or disparaging them.”
The exchange began when Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) brought up their abilities during Thursday’s Benghazi Committee hearing:
“When you say ‘security professionals,’ I’m not trying to be disparaging with anybody, but I don’t know who those folks were,” Westmoreland said, after Clinton explained they, not her, were often making assessments on the ground.
“Well, they were people who risked their lives to try to save—” Clinton shot back.
“Well in my little opinion, the professionals when it came to protecting people —” Westmoreland said, trailing off before launching into a discussion about who had access to Clinton’s personal email address.
Later on the in the questioning, Clinton returned to the topic.
“I have to add, congressman, the diplomatic security professionals are among the best in the world,” Clinton said
“I would put them up against anybody. And I just cannot allow any comment to be in the record in any way criticizing or disparaging them. They have kept Americans safe in two wars and in a lot of other really terrible situations over the last many years,” she said. “I trusted them with my life. You trust them with yours when you’re on [congressional delegations]. They deserve better and they deserve all the support congress can give them because they’re doing a really hard job very well.”