CNN (U.S.), AFP (France)
Republican Senator John McCain has praised U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for taking responsibility for the security failure in Benghazi, Libya, last month that led to four American deaths.
After Clinton's statements in a CNN interview Monday night, AFP reports that McCain issued a joint statement with fellow Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham: "This is a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever."
Indeed, the same three Republican Senators who praised Clinton are insisting that the affair is a failure on President Barack Obama's part for the attacks on September 11 that left four embassy staffers dead, including that of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
The security failure in Benghazi has become a focal point in the Republicans' criticism of President Obama's foreign policy in the previous presidential and vice-presidential debates. Clinton's interview comes ahead of the second presidential debate that will take place in Hempstead, New York on Tuesday evening just three weeks before election day.
Speaking to CNN Monday night, Clinton addressed the security breakdown in Benghazi. "I take responsibility," Clinton said. "The president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals."
Clinton also explained why the administration had repeatedly asserted that the attacks on the U.S. consulate were demonstrations against the anti-Islam film the Innocence of Muslims, even though it is now widely believed that they were deliberate attacks.
She said there is always "confusion" in the first hours after an attack, however, she ensured that security decisions were being reviewed.