Hillary Clinton on Benghazi committee: ‘If I were president … I would have done everything to shut it down’


Fresh off her appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” Hillary Clinton returned to the serious issues facing her presidential campaign on Monday, telling the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie that the congressional committee on Benghazi should’ve been shut down by now.

“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,” an angry Clinton said during the town hall-style interview in New Hampshire. “I would never have done that, and if I were president and there were Republicans or Democrats thinking about that, I would have done everything to shut it down.”

Last week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested that the select committee investigating Benghazi was summoned to derail the former secretary of state’s 2016 presidential bid.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy said on Fox News. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers Friday? What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought.”

“Look at the situation they chose to exploit, to go after me for political reasons” Clinton said on “Today.” “The deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.”

Later in the interview, the Democratic frontrunner discussed her newly released gun control proposal that calls for universal background checks and closure of the so-called gun show loophole.

“I really do want to push hard to get more sensible restraints on gun ownership in the wrong hands and then to try to keep track of people who shouldn’t have guns,” Clinton said. “We need universal background checks. We know that they will work.”

The former secretary also said lawmakers need to close “the Charleston loophole,” which allowed Dylann Roof, the suspected shooter in the South Carolina church massacre, to purchase a gun despite having a criminal record because of a delay in completing his background check.

“I will try every way I can to get those guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” she said. “We need to prevent these kinds of terrible crimes that are happening.”

At a separate town hall in Manchester, N.H., Clinton said the “thoughts and prayers” offered after tragedies like the one last week in Roseburg, Ore., are not enough.

“Between 88 and 92 people are killed a day by guns in America,” she said. “How many people have to die before we actually act?”

Clinton criticized the responses offered to the Oregon school shooting by Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“Gov. Bush said, ‘Stuff happens,’” Clinton said. “No. That’s an admission of defeat and surrender.”

A teary-eyed Clinton then introduced Nicole Hockley, the mother of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Dylan Hockley, one of 20 first-graders killed in the 2013 massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Clinton also lamented the power the National Rifle Association has over Congress.

“Ideally, what I would like to see is gun owners, responsible gun owners, form a new organization,” she said. “And take back the Second Amendment!”

During a lighter moment on “Today,” Clinton fielded a question from a Facebook user who asked if the former first lady and New York senator had ever been fired from a job.

“Oh, that’s a question!” Clinton replied, before recalling her experience in an Alaskan fish cannery:


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