An angry Hillary Clinton, before taking questions from people attending a "Today" show "Pancakes and Politics" town hall, lambasted the establishment of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, saying if she was president, she "would have done everything to shut it down."
"Look at the situation they chose to exploit, to go after me for political reasons, the death of four Americans in Benghazi," said Clinton, who was the secretary of state on Sept. 11, 2012, when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three diplomatic staff members were killed in the Benghazi, Libya terror attack.
"I knew the ambassador," Clinton told "Today" correspondent Savannah Guthrie. "I asked him to go there. I asked the president to nominate him."
She complained that there have been seven other investigations, all led mostly by congressional Republicans, and all were non-partisan and concluded that she and others did nothing wrong in connection with the attack, "but there were changes we could make."
"This committee was set up, as they have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans," Clinton said, referencing comments made by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy last week that credited the committee's investigation with her downturn in Democratic primary polls.
Clinton is to testify before the committee later this month. She stopped short of calling for it to be disbanded,
as top Senate Democrats did last week.
"I have to say that now that they have admitted it's a political partisan committee for the sole purpose of going after me, not trying to make our diplomats who serve in dangerous areas safer, that's up to the Congress," Clinton said. "If they are going to have it still running, I'll be there, and I'm looking forward to answering questions about real things when I'm there, and I'm looking forward to having a chance to explain everything we've done, everything that I asked to happen, but it's not appropriate what they have done, from obviously their own admission."
Clinton also pointed out that more than 90 percent of her emails were on a government account, and the State Department had pulled them out and handed them over.
"You know, look, I've been around this political situation for a long time, but some things are just beyond the pale, and I'm happy to go if it [the committee] still is in operation to testify," said Clinton.
"I'm happy to turn over my e-mails. I've gone further than anybody ever has. That's okay. I'm willing to do that, but the real issue here is what happened to four brave Americans."
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