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

The remarks drew applause, as well as a nod of support from Bernie Sanders.

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 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.

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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.