A South Carolina congressman hammered Adm. Mike Mullen’s decision not to interview then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or President Obama as to what role, if any, they may have played in the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy’s pit-bull tenacity — something he honed during his years as a prosecutor — served him well as he questioned Mullen’s judgment as co-chair of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board.
Gowdy began by establishing that Clinton was neither interviewed nor presented with written questions about what she knew before, during and immediately after the events of the Sept. 11, 2012, raid on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.
He then asked Mullen the questions the secretary should have been asked. The best Mullen could do was to offer his best guess.
“Was Secretary Clinton aware of the attacks on Western targets in Benghazi, Libya, leading up to Sept. 11, 2012?” he asked. “Was she aware that the British ambassador was almost assassinated in Benghazi in the weeks and months leading up to Sept. 11, 2012? Was she aware of the request for additional security at the Benghazi facility?”
Time after time, Mullen couldn’t offer a definitive answer, as Gowdy’s examination of the witness became more and more heated.
The congressman eventually quoted Clinton as saying the review board was “hard at work looking at everything,” then asked Mullen how he “could look at everything when you don’t even bother to interview the person who is ultimately responsible for what happened to the State Department?”
Receiving no satisfactory response, Gowdy read a similar quote from Barack Obama, then asked whether the president had been interviewed about his role in the affair. The answer was, of course, no
Watch the exchange:
Later in the day, Gowdy addressed family members of two of the State Department team members slain in Benghazi. They were Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer at the facility; and Charles Woods, the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was killed defending the compound from the roof of the security annex.
Gowdy’s tone and demeanor took a 180-degree turn with these grieving parents as he offered his gratitude for their sons’ service and sympathy for their loss. He then promised them truth and justice.