Feinstein: Benghazi Committee a 'Hunting Mission For a Lynch Mob'

Sunday, 18 May 2014 02:13 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The House Select Committee set up to further investigate the 2012 terror attack on the Benghazi attacks are the same as "a hunting mission for a lynch mob," believes Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein.

"I think it's ridiculous," the California Democrat told CNN "State of the Union host Candy Crowley Sunday. "There have been four major reports. We spent a year and a half on a report. We held hearings, thousands of pages were reviewed, [and] the staff spent hours and weeks on it first."

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In addition, she said, the Senate Homeland Security Committee also investigated the attack, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of the embassy's staff.

Feinstein drew lines between the Benghazi attack and attacks in Beirut while "the big Republican hero" President Ronald Reagan was in office.

Those incidents, she said, involved three attacks, "with 240 servicemen with seven CIA officers, one chief of station being tortured to death. Reagan admitted we weren't ready for it... the intelligence was there. Action should have been taken."

Feinstein said she believes that the Senate's bipartisan report answered the talking points about Benghazi, and answered questions "to the satisfaction of the Intelligence Committee."

The California lawmaker also discussed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's potential campaign for the White House with Crowley.

"In my mind, she's at the prime of her political life," Feinstein said of Clinton. "She has all of the elements of a good leader plus the fact, and this is not to be underestimated, she is enormously attractive to people."

Clinton "carries the torch for women, who are the majority of votes," and Feinstein said people respond to her.

However, she noted that she has encouraged the former first lady to hold back just a bit for announcing her candidacy.

"I did talk with her, and thought it would be better that she not get out there early because her favorability was so high, because all that could happen is it would go down," said Feinstein, noting strategist Karl Rove's "stupid" comments about Clinton having brain damage.

But Clinton has a book coming out that will "likely carry a good bit of her thinking on various big issues, certainly foreign policy, certainly the secretary of state, and we would have someone in the White House who would have a real background in foreign policy."

Feinstein also refused to term President Barack Obama's presidency as already being in lame duck mode, two years before he leaves office.

"One of the things that's happening is it's so difficult to move anything through the Senate because of the use of cloture by Republicans, so nearly everything fails," she said. "We did have some good things, the agriculture bill, the immigration bill passed the Senate."

But she does not think Obama will back down, and healthcare will be his legacy, and also possibly immigration.



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