Hillary Clinton in a speech in Iowa has again defended her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attacks and her use of a private email server as secretary of state, dismissing the controversies as “partisan games.”
“They’ll try to tell you it’s about Benghazi, but it’s not,” Clinton told the audience, pointing to Republican-led congressional inquiries that she said had “debunked all the conspiracy theories.”
“It’s not about emails or servers either. It’s about politics,” she said.
“I won’t get down in the mud with them. I won’t play politics with national security,” Clinton said at the annual Wing Ding, a Democratic fundraiser in northern Iowa that attracted three other presidential candidates.
Clinton, the former secretary of state has been in a feisty mood as she sought to take on Republicans in a fight to succeed President Barack Obama in the White House.
Her appearance comes days after she agreed to turn over to the FBI the private server she used a secretary of state. Republican lawmakers have been circling Clinton like a shark going after its prey ever since the Benghazi attacks in 2012. They claimed she was negligent in handling classified information, and some have vowed to bring her down.
So far, Clinton has beaten them at their every move, but still there is no let up by the Republicans.
Clinton’s forceful defense started when she noted that the Supreme Court case Citizens United, started with a “hit-job film” about her.
“Now I’m in the crosshairs,” she said of Republicans.
Clinton said she would do her part to provide transparency to Americans; thus the reason she is insisting on 55,000 pages of her emails be published as soon as possible and the turnover of the server the Republican lawmakers have been calling for.
“I won’t pretend that this is anything other than what it is: the same old partisan games we’ve seen so many times before,” she said. “So I don’t care how many super PACs and Republicans pile on. I’ve been fighting for families and underdogs my entire life and I’m not going to stop now.”
Clinton also made light of the email probe on her Snapchat social media account. “I love it,” she said. “Those messages disappear all by themselves.”
Her speech included critiques of potential Republican rivals Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. But she saved her most pointed barbs for Donald Trump, saying the attention in the GOP race had centered on a “certain flamboyant front-runner.” The country, she said, shouldn’t be distracted. “Most of the other candidates are just Trump with the pizazz or the hair.”
Davy Desmond, Readers Bureau, Fellow
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