Previewing Hillary Clinton's testimony on the terrorist incident in Benghazi, George Stephanopoulos scoffed at the idea that members of Congress would dare grill the outgoing Secretary of State. Talking to Martha Raddatz on Tuesday, the Good Morning America co-host predicted, "But she's very well practiced at [testifying] and I can't imagine they're really going to beat her up on her last few days as Secretary of State."
In fact, Senator Rand Paul did aggressively question Senator Clinton, telling her, "Had I been President at the time and I found out you had not read the cables… I would have relieved you of your post." Additionally, since when has someone leaving been an excuse not to press them on important issues?
Correspondent Raddatz offered misleading information as she asserted, "There has already been testimony from Clinton's deputy, already an investigation into what happened, already people relieved of their jobs, George."
In fact, the New York Post reported on the day after Christmas that no one had really been "relieved of their jobs":
The four officials supposedly out of jobs because of their blunders in the run-up to the deadly Benghazi terror attack remain on the State Department payroll — and will all be back to work soon, The Post has learned.
The highest-ranking official caught up in the scandal, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell, has not "resigned" from government service, as officials said last week. He is just switching desks. And the other three are simply on administrative leave and are expected back.
A transcript of the January 23 segment follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn to Washington now where Hillary Clinton will wrap up her stint as Secretary of State by taking the hot seat on Capitol Hill. Tough questions are coming from committees investigating the terrorist attack in Libya that claimed the lives of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Our chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz is covering it all. And Martha, those questions perhaps even more pointed now that we're learning that terrorists involved in this weekend's terror attack in Algeria may also have been part of Benghazi.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Yes, George. There are three surviving militants from that horrific attack in Algeria and this morning an Algerian official is telling the New York Times that under interrogation, one of those militants said some of the attackers in Algeria were also part of the attack on the consulate in Benghazi last September. That sort of regional cooperation between extremists is something that Hillary Clinton and others have long warned about. So, I suspect she will be asked about that this morning.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No question about that. And a lot of other questions coming as well. This is something that Senators and House members have pushed for for a long time from Hillary Clinton. But she's very well practiced at this and I can't imagine they're really going to beat her up on her last few days as secretary of state.
RADDATZ: Well, they might try. I think you'll hear pointed questions about why there was not more security in a volatile place. They want to ask whether she was aware of requests for more security? If not, why not? If so, why was the request denied. There has already been testimony from Clinton's deputy, already an investigation into what happened, already people relieved of their jobs, George. But they want to know Clinton's role.