The Benghazi controversy will continue to haunt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she runs for president in 2016, says Steve Forbes.
"Even though most people will have forgotten it by then, it is going to be an issue in terms of how you handle a crisis," Forbes, a two-time presidential candidate and owner of Forbes International, told Newsmax TV Thursday.
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At some point, Forbes said, Clinton will have to give a plausible answer about whose idea it was to blame the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Lybia, on an anti-Islam YouTube video.
"She's going to have to answer the question or give a plausible answer who concocted the story about the tape," said Forbes, noting that there is nothing in the whistleblowers' testimony, which began Wednesday, to indicate "that being any part of what happened"
"So was it the political shop doing some cute campaign thing, the White House itself?" he asked.
Forbes spoke with Newsmax before reports surfaced about White House and State Department emails. Those emails indicate that a CIA draft of talking points on the attack was extensively edited to remove references to terrorism and extremists linked to al-Qaida.
Forbes noted that the attacks happened over several hours, and "this you could see like a slow-motion train wreck." Like Republicans on Capitol Hill, he said he wants to know why there was no military response undertaken.
"You knew a disaster was underway," he said. "In this day and age, in particular, when we think of instant response, instant aircraft, instant forces at the ready. But this thing played out for hour after hour after hour, and you could almost feel that they felt that the worst may happen."
Forbes called it "absolutely frightening and frustrating" that nothing was done during that time.
"Again, this was not something that was a few minutes, like a bombing, and, therefore, it's a reaction time to a disaster," he said. "This disaster was slowly unfolding and yet we couldn't, or didn’t do anything about it."
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