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Rep. Darrell Issa vs. Ambassador Pickering On Investigating Benghazi

REP. DARRELL ISSA: This was a terrorist attack from the get-go. … It was never about a video. So when we look at what we know, the question is how do we prevent a facility from being under-protected? How do we respond better if we have seven hours or more of an attack? And how do we get the truth out? There's three sections, all of which the American people are entitled to. And so far, Jay Carney has said a lot of things that aren't believable, even to you and the rest of the press. We've had testimony by people under oath that I think are pretty believable, and I know they're accountable for what they say.


DAVID GREGORY: But do you need a select committee on something like this, something like Whitewater, or is your investigation sufficient here?

REP. DARRELL ISSA: You know, let's not blow things out of proportion. This is a failure; it needs to be investigated. Our committee can investigate. Now, Ambassador Pickering, his people and he refused to come before our committee. That--

AMB. THOMAS PICKERING: That is not true. ... I said the day before the hearings, I was willing to appear, to come to the very hearings that he excluded me from. The White House pulled me back, but he said--

REP. DARRELL ISSA: Please don't tell me I excluded you.

AMB. THOMAS PICKERING: Well, we were told the majority said I was not welcome at that hearing. I could come at some other time.

REP. DARRELL ISSA: Well, as the ambassador just said, the day before the hearing, if the White House said, "We'd like to have him," there's a procedure. He could have been the Democratic witness, and we would have allowed him. The Democrats requested no witness. ... I'm delighted to have a long-serving, career diplomat willing to come before us. I don't think it was his decision to say no, but we were told no until just before the hearing.


DAVID GREGORY: What did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fail to disclose or fail to do that makes her a target for you?

REP. DARRELL ISSA: Hillary Clinton's not a target; President Obama's not a target. The target is how did we fail three different ways? Fail to heed the warnings of an impending attack, fail to respond properly during the attack at least, we certainly could have done better and I think everyone knows that. And then failed to get the truth to the American people in a timely fashion.

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