Tags: Benghazi Scandal | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | Eleanor Clift | Christopher Stevens | Benghazi | murdered

Columnist Clift: Benghazi Ambassador Was Not Murdered

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 13 May 2014 06:39 PM

Veteran columnist Eleanor Clift is sticking to her controversial statement that Ambassador Christopher Stevens was not murdered in Benghazi, but rather succumbed to smoke inhalation.

"I realize this causes a lot of emotion. As I said, I'm going to just stick with [it]," Clift told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

On the syndicated show "The McLaughlin Group," Clift, a contributing editor for Newsweek and columnist for The Daily Beast, said:

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''I would like to point out that Ambassador Stevens was not murdered. He died of smoke inhalation in a safe room in that CIA installation.''

She dug in her heels even when fellow panelist Pat Buchanan reminded her that the assault has been classified as "a terrorist attack."

When quizzed by Malzberg on Tuesday, Clift remained adamant but tried to add context to her remark.

"I was taking issue with the sort of glib use of the word 'murdered,' and dying of smoke inhalation in a safe room of a CIA outpost has a slightly different feeling," she said.

"My point is that it was a very chaotic event, the CIA was involved, which is why there was a lot of confusion initially, and that all the questions that this special committee is raising have been asked and answered in previous investigations."

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Pressed on whether she would say that people who died in terrorist attacks were not murdered — such as the nearly 3,000 people who died in the World Trade Center attacks — Clift said:

"I was just trying to add a little bit of complexity, and I'm going to stick with what I [said] . . . I would say that he died of smoke inhalation and there was another person in that room who did get out."

Clift was asked about her reaction to a report that Republican strategist Karl Rove suggested Hillary Clinton's blood clot had caused brain damage — something he has denied saying — said she thinks it was deliberate.

"It gets people chattering, particularly on the right — people who presumably would not like to see Hillary Clinton necessarily run or get elected to the White House — and questions about her health get raised," she said.

"It's a way to sort of feed suspicion that she may be somehow hiding something — that we didn't get the full story.

"But she's a big girl and we're in a nasty period of politics, so it's to be expected.''

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