Republican Sen. Ron Johnson lied around what he said to provoke Hillary Clinton’s exasperated comment, “What difference, in ~ this point, does the make?”


Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin who is in grave peril of shedding his seat in November come Russ Feingold, opened up his prime-time speech to his party’s convention top top Tuesday night v a blatant lie around a comment Hillary Clinton make on Benghazi.

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“Ladies and also gentlemen, ‘What difference, in ~ this point, does it make?’” Johnson began, quoting Clinton’s exasperated comment to him during a 2013 Senate committee listening on her taking care of of the deadly assault on the American diplomatic and also intelligence compound in Benghazi, Libya, the year before.

“I to be the male that obtained under her skin and also provoked that infamous solution from Hillary Clinton,” Johnson continued, “by questioning a pretty simple question: ‘Why didn’t you simply pick up the phone and call the survivors?’”

WATCH Ron's speech at the #RNCinCLE around the need for strong leadership #WISen #Benghazi #HillaryClinton

— Ron Johnson (
RonJohnsonWI) July 20, 2016

Even to those not steeped in the Republican catechism around Clinton’s claimed responsibility because that the fatality of 4 Americans in the Libyan city that Benghazi top top September 11, 2012, Johnson’s account of she testimony does make the previous secretary that state sound very callous.

It is, however, wildly inaccurate, together the transcript and video clip of the televised exchange shows.

Clinton was, in fact, replying no to Johnson’s tip that she should call the survivors the the attack on the diplomatic and also intelligence compound, however to his veiled insinuation that she and also other officials had actually lied about the violence maybe stemming indigenous protests that day about an Egyptian-American’s video clip mocking the Prophet Muhammad post on YouTube.

Earlier in the exchange, Johnson go ask Clinton, “Do you disagree v me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to identify what occurred wouldn’t have ascertained instantly that there to be no protest? the was a piece of information that might have been easily, quickly obtained?” Clinton did not agree and attempted to define why, yet Johnson interrupted her 3 times prior to she responded forcefully come his case that the management had “misled” Congress.

Johnson: … us were misled the there to be supposedly protests and also that miscellaneous sprang the end of that — an attack sprang the end of that — and also that was easily ascertained that that was no the fact, and the American civilization could have actually known the within days, and also they didn’t recognize that.

Clinton: through all early respect, the reality is us had 4 dead Americans. To be it since of a protest or was it since of men out because that a walk one night who made decision that they will do they walk kill part Americans? What difference at this point does the make? the is our project to figure out what happened and do whatever we can to avoid it from ever before happening again, senator. Now, honestly, ns will carry out my best to answer your questions around this, however the reality is that people were trying in actual time to acquire to the finest information. The IC has a process, ns understand, going with the various other committees to explain how these talking points came out. Yet you know, to be clear, the is, from mine perspective, less important today feather backwards as to why this militants made decision they did it than to discover them and also bring them come justice, and also then perhaps we’ll number out what was going on in the meantime.

Johnson: Okay. Say thanks to you, mam Secretary.

It has end up being an short article of faith amongst Republicans that the anti-Islam video, which had actually sparked protests in Cairo in the hours before the assault in Benghazi, and throughout the Arab civilization in the work after it, had absolutely naught to carry out with the death of the Americans. Inside that bubble, closely nurtured by Fox News, any suggestion the the offensive video — a trailer because that a film biography of the prophet made to antagonize Muslims — acted as a catalyst because that the attack by Islamist militants was component of a cover-up by the Obama administration.

According come a subsequent examination by New York Times reporters, however, “extensive interviews v Libyans in Benghazi that had direct knowledge that the attack” suggested that the violence was certainly “fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

What makes Johnson’s lie about what Clinton to be referring to in the exchange v him all the an ext egregious is the he only lugged it up to argue that her conduct in the consequences of the strike demonstrated the she was unfit to be president due to the fact that she had lied about it.

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Rather than discover out exactly what happened throughout the attack, Johnson told the convention, “She flower a cover-up story and also repeatedly lied come the American people; she also lied come the surviving family members members of America’s collapse heroes.”

“Think about that for a moment,” Johnson said, scanning the crowd prior to looking straight into the camera come add, “she looked those family members best in the eye, and also then she lied.”

Top photo: on Jan. 23, 2013, Secretary that State Hillary Rodham Clinton confronted questions indigenous Republican members of the Senate international Relations Committee, including, at far right, Sen. Ron Johnson.

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