Republican Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who questioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her Benghazi testimony on Capitol Hill, suggested her emotional response was a political maneuver to deflect his line of questioning.
Johnson told Buzzfeed after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, “I think she just decided before she was going to describe emotionally the four dead Americans, the heroes, and use that as her trump card to get out of the questions. It was a good way of getting out of really having to respond to me.”
Johnson was criticizing the following response from Secretary Clinton when he accused her of garbling the facts regarding the Benghazi attacks. After continuing to press Clinton on why her department was unable to determine whether the consulate attacks were executed by terrorists or protesters, Clinton emphatically responded, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It’s our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”
In an interview with a Wisconsin radio station, Johnson commented on his edgy exchange with Clinton. “I wasn’t trying to get under her skin, I was just trying to get a relatively simple question answered, which she didn’t really want to answer.” “It was theatrics,” he said on WTMJ. “Again, she didn’t want to answer questions so she makes a big show of it.”
He told Buzzfeed it became clear that Clinton was visibly agitated. “I’m not sure she had rehearsed for that type of question.” Johnson continued, “I just don’t think she had an answer to that. Maybe it embarrassed her. Maybe she hadn’t thought of it that way.”
Johnson was aware of his aggressive questioning and was left unsatisfied from her testimony. Although Clinton claimed “full responsibility” for her department’s handling of the Benghazi attacks, Johnson charged that Clinton’s talking points deterred the public from knowing the truth. “She allowed politics to trump getting to the facts.”