Former President Bill Clinton defended Hillary Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attacks during her tenure as secretary of state, noting that “most Americans don’t even know how many American diplomatic personnel were killed when President Bush was president.”
Clinton spoke Wednesday at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s fiscal summit — portions of which were aired on MSNBC’s “Ronan Farrow Daily” — frequently mentioning his wife as the Democratic power couple gears up for a Hillary presidential campaign in 2016.
The former Arkansas governor laughed off speculation, touched off earlier this week by Karl Rove, that Hillary might be in poor health. “First they said she faked her concussion, and now they say she’s auditioning for a part on ‘The Walking Dead,’” he cracked.
“You can’t be too upset about it,” he continued. “This is just the beginning, they’ll get better and better at it. I mean, you know — I’m still waiting for them to admit there was nothing to Whitewater.”
But Bill became more serious when discussing Benghazi, somberly asserting that his wife did the best she could in a tough circumstance.
“In my opinion, Hillary did what she should of done,” he said, noting the former secretary of state quickly empaneled a committee to look into diplomatic security.
“They made 29 recommendations — she took them and started implementing them,” Clinton claimed. “And they established the fact that, whether it was right or wrong, in the past secretaries of state never were involved directly in these security decisions.”
The former president also pointedly suggested the Republican investigation is largely driven by politics. “Most Americans don’t even know how many American diplomatic personnel were killed when President Bush was president,” he said.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, murdered in Benghazi during the September 11, 2012 attack, was the first ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
Much of the Republican questions on the attack concern the administration’s changing narrative and what the State Department was doing in Benghazi when most other Western outposts had already retreated from the dangerous city.