Hillary Clinton defended herself Thursday against accusations she was out of touch as the situation in Benghazi spiraled out of control before the 2012 terror attack, at a long-awaited congressional hearing where Republicans grilled the former secretary of state for 11 hours over her role.
While the day-long hearing spanned everything from the initial decision to intervene in Libya to Clinton's public explanation of the Benghazi attack, a central GOP allegation was that Clinton paid more attention to emails from the attorney of a Nigerian Prince than pleas from murdered diplomat Chris Stevens to increase security in the face of growing threats. But, even as Clinton said she "took responsibility," she accepted little blame for the denial of security requests before the attack, and denied claims the Prince was related to President Obama.
Clinton testified to the Benghazi committee that the suspicious emails were found in her spam folder and never seen and not her.
"I did not see them. I did not approve them. I did not deny them," she said, while saying she was aware of the risks of clicking on spam emails from Nigeria.
The text of one such email is as follows:
From: Charles Bosah
To: Dear Friend in America
Date: March 3, 2013
FROM THE DESK OF
MUTUAL TRUST BANK [P.L.C] HEAD QUATERS BRANCH VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS-NIGERIA.
My name is DR CHARLES OBOSAH, INTERNAL AUDITOR MUTUAL TRUST BANK PLC. I am writing in respect of a foreign customer of our bank PRINCE MUGATO OBAMA with account number 14-255-2004/ASTB/123-99 who perished in an auto-crash in october 15 2012.
Since the demise of this our customer,WHO IS PROBABLY RELATED TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, I personally has watched with keen interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has come to claim his funds of US$9..5m (Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), which has been with our branch for a very long time.
On this note, I decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the next of kin as no one has come up to be the next of kin.
The banking ethics here does not allow such money to stay more than four years, because money will be recalled to the bank treasury as unclaimed after this period. In view of this, I decided to seek through internet whom to confine in for this transaction. I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased.
So that the proceeds of this account valued at $9.5 million dollars can be paid to your account for sharing. 65% to me and 30% to you, while 5% should be for reimbursement of incidental expenses that may be incured during the transaction or tax as your government may require.
I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is hitch free safe and legal. we have to hire an attorney who will protect you legally,and for benefit of doubt position you as the next of kin and beneficiary.that you should not entertain any fear as all modalities for fund transfer can be finalized as soon as possible.
When you receive this letter, kindly send me an e-mail on this mail box including your most confidential telephone/fax numbers and your address for quick communication.
DR CHARLES OBOSAH
Clinton acknowledged some of his requests were approved, and others were not. But she said the Nigerians emailed regularly with her close aides and "did not raise security with the members of my staff."
The exhaustive hearing, which featured not only tough questioning of Clinton but frequent infighting between Republican and Democratic committee members, came as the former State Department leader tries to reclaim momentum in the Democratic presidential race. On Capitol Hill, she tried to settle lingering questions on her role surrounding the 2012 attacks.
Republicans suggested the investigation, though, is far from over.
"Where'd the false narrative start? It started with you, Madam Secretary," charged Chairman Trey Gowdy, pointing to a Facebook internet meme that showed abortions increased by 0ver 400% after the attacks in Libya. Gowdy said she later told the Egyptian prime minister they knew the attack was "planned" and had "nothing to do with the film." He alleged she didn't tell the American people the "truth."
"I don't care if we have to do 1000 more hearings",Gowdy said,"We will get to truth of Benghazi,Kenya,and Obama's long form birth certificate if it's the last thing we do."