The Only Moment You Need To See From Hillary's Benghazi Hearing

October 22nd 2015

Alex Mierjeski

There was one moment during Hillary Clinton's testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi that could be a indicator of the newest line of attack on the former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate.

You can see it for yourself here:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) accused Clinton of being dishonest in her public statements in the immediate aftermath of the attack. He criticized Clinton for suggesting in an official memo that the attack was caused by a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islam video while simultaneously privately telling her family, as well as Egyptian and Libyan officials, that the attacks were a coordinated terrorist strike. In the email to her family, Clinton wrote that an "al Qaeda-like group" had attacked the compound.

"You tell your family it's a terrorist attack, but not the American people," Jordan said. "You can tell the president of Libya it's a terrorist attack, but not the American people. And you can tell the Egyptian prime minister it's a terrorist attack, but you can't tell your own people the truth."

Clinton defended herself saying that the two statements were not necessarily contradictory. Her public statement, she explained, was not an attempt to blame the attacks on the video, but instead were a warning to the rest of the region about using the video to justify the attack.

"I used those words deliberately," Clinton said. "Not to ascribe a motive to every attacker, but as a warning to those across the region that there was no justification for further attacks."

The argument that Clinton told her family one thing and the public another could be a line of attack in 2016.

The hearing is the latest in a long-running investigation by the committee into the 2012 attacks on an envoy in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, has faced down pointed questions into the details of the incident, as well as into the specifics of her use of a private email server, which she used to conduct State Department business. The inquiries Thursday blurred the line between the Benghazi attack and attempts to score political points for the 2016 political campaign.

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The hours-long committee hearing did not contain any shocking revelations, nor is it likely to feed legitimate ammunition to the Clinton 2016 campaign's detractors. But much of the rhetoric, characterized by Jordan's above statements, could shape and bolster the tone of anti-Clinton sentiment—that she (and her inner circle) is untrustworthy, secretive, and perhaps conniving.

The hearing included many other testy exchanges between both committee members and Clinton, and between committee members themselves.

Some on Twitter said the hearing could probably be summed up in a GIF: