Huge Surprise: Jorge Ramos Corners Hillary on Claims She Lied to Families of Benghazi Victims

Univision anchor and Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate co-moderator Jorge Ramos took a break from his far-left questions on illegal immigration to serve up a slew of hardball questions to Hillary Clinton on both her e-mail scandal in addition to Benghazi and the belief among many that she lied about what transpired to the victims families.

Not surprisingly, Ramos’s tough questions drew overwhelming boos from the liberal crowd, but Ramos pressed on and Clinton astonishingly reiterated her belief that a now-infamous YouTube video played a role in the Islamic terror attack that left four Americans dead on September 11, 2012.

Ramos started out by noting that he “want[ed] to continue with the issue of trust” and highlighted e-mail contact that she had on the night of the attacks with her daughter Chelsea:

[O]n the night of the attacks in Benghazi, you are sent an e-mail to your daughter Chelsea saying that an al-Qaeda-like group was responsible for the killing of the Americans. However some of the families claim you lied to them[.]

He then aired a clip of the late Sean Smith’s mother Patricia calling out the Obama administration during an October appearance on the Fox News Channel: “Hillary and Obama and Panetta and Biden and Susan Rice all told me it was a video when they knew it was not the video and they said that they would call me and let me know what the outcome was.”

When Ramos asked Clinton if she did indeed “lie to them,” Clinton ruled that while she has “a great deal of sympathy for the families of the four brave Americans that we lost at Benghazi,” Smith is not just “wrong” but “absolutely wrong.”

Ramos eventually interjected following a lengthy answer from Clinton to push back: “Secretary Clinton, but what they are saying is what the families are saying is that you told your daughter Chelsea one thing and a different thing to them.”

It was here that Clinton inexplicably rehashed her original belief from 2012 that the video played a role in the Islamic extremist terrorists taking action:

At the time, I e-mailed with my daughter, a terrorist group had taken credit for the attacks on our facility in Benghazi. Within 16, 18 hours, they rescinded taking credit. They did it all on social media and the video did play a role. We have captured one of the lead terrorists and he admits it was both a terrorist attack and it was influenced by the video. This was fog of war. This was complicated.

The relevant portion of the transcript from the Univision/Washington Post/Facebook Democratic Presidential Debate on March 9 can be found below.

Univision’s Democratic Presidential Debate
March 9, 2016
10:01 p.m. Eastern

JORGE RAMOS: I want to continue with the issue of trust. Secretary Clinton, on the night of the attacks in Benghazi, you are sent an e-mail to your daughter Chelsea saying that an al-Qaeda-like group was responsible for the killing of the Americans. [AUDIENCE BOOS] However some of the families claim you lied to them Here’s Patricia Smith, the mother of the information officer Sean Smith. Listen. 

PATRICA SMITH [on the Fox News Channel, 10/23/15]: Hillary and Obama and Panetta and Biden and Susan Rice all told me it was a video when they knew it was not the video and they said that they would call me and let me know what the outcome was. 

RAMOS: Secretary Clinton, did you lie to them? 

HILLARY CLINTON: You know, look, I feel a great deal of sympathy for the families of the four brave Americans that we lost at Benghazi, and I certainly can't even imagine the grief that she has for losing her son, but she's wrong. She's absolutely wrong. I and everybody in the administration, all the people she named, the President, the Vice President, Susan Rice, we were scrambling to get information that was changing literally by the hour and when we had information, we made it public but then sometimes we had to go back and say we have new information that contradicts it, so I testified for 11 hours. Anybody who watched that and listened to it knows that I answered every question that I was asked and when it was over, the Republicans had to admit they didn't learn anything. Why? Because there had already been one independent investigation, there had been seven or eight congressional investigations, mostly led by Republicans who all reached the same conclusions, that there were lessons to learned and this is not the first time we lost Americans in a terrorist attack. We lost 3,000 people on 9/11. We lost Americans serving in embassies in Tanzania and Kenya when my husband was President. We lost 250 Americans when Ronald Reagan was President in Beirut and at no other time were those tragedies politicized. Instead, people said let's learn the lesson and save lives and that's when I did. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

RAMOS: Secretary Clinton, but what they are saying is what the families are saying is that you told your daughter Chelsea one thing and a different thing to them. 

CLINTON: Well, Jorge, that makes my point. At the time, I e-mailed with my daughter, a terrorist group had taken credit for the attacks on our facility in Benghazi. Within 16, 18 hours, they rescinded taking credit. They did it all on social media and the video did play a role. We have captured one of the lead terrorists and he admits it was both a terrorist attack and it was influenced by the video. This was fog of war. This was complicated. The most effective, comprehensive reports and studies demonstrate that. Look, as I said in the beginning, I deeply regret that we lost four Americans and I, of course, sympathize with members of the families who, you know, are still very much grieving and I wish that there could be an easy answer at the time, but we learned a lot and the intelligence kept improving and we learned enough to say what we think happened at Benghazi.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center