Hillary Clinton calls Benghazi committee ‘an arm’ of the RNC

Updated

Hillary Clinton accused the Republican Party of using the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, as a political weapon to damage her in the presidential race, saying during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate that a committee charged with investigating the attack was “basically an arm of the Republican National Committee.”

“It is a partisan vehicle as admitted by the House Majority Leader, Mr. Kevin McCarthy, to drive down my poll numbers,” the former secretary of state said, referring to McCarthy’s recent suggestion

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that the purpose of creating the committee was to prove she was “untrustable.” 

“I am still standing, happy to be a part of this debate,” Clinton said.

RELATED: Democratic debate: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clash

The remarks drew applause, as well as a nod of support from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s top rival in the Democratic primary.

“Let me say something that’s not great politics, but I think the secretary is right,” Sanders said. “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”

Clinton is scheduled to testify next week before a House Select Committee on Benghazi, during which she is expected to face numerous questions about her use of a private email server while she was America’s top diplomat. 

Hardball with Chris Matthews, 10/13/15, 7:48 PM ET

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Benghazi and Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton calls Benghazi committee 'an arm' of the RNC

Updated