Presidential Primaries

Clinton's role in Libyan intervention praised by Podesta

'Fox News Sunday' exclusive: Hillary Clinton's campaign chair weighs in


A top Hillary Clinton campaign official on Sunday praised the former secretary of state’s involvement in the controversial 2011 Libyan intervention, even as the country has descended into chaos since dictator Muammar Qaddafi was deposed and killed.

Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman John Podesta lauded Clinton’s role in advocating for a NATO-led coalition’s intervention to end a civil war in Libya that had led to countless civilian casualties.

“You know, she’s got a strong record to stand on when it comes to the question of Libya,” Podesta said of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

But that record has come under increasing scrutiny as Libya approaches “failed state” status. Armed groups – including elements of ISIS – have risen up across the country, and there is no universally recognized government.

Her statement in the wake of Qaddafi’s death – “We came, we saw, he died” – has also come to haunt her as disorder spread throughout Libya.

Perhaps of even more importance to her political opponents, however, is the Benghazi terror attack that killed four Americans on Sept. 11, 2012. The attack became the key symbol for many Republicans of Clinton’s involvement in Libya. Several congressional hearings were held to determine Clinton’s exact role the night of the attack and find out what she knew and when she knew it in the aftermath.

But despite the myriad criticisms, Podesta had no issue tying the intervention firmly to Clinton.

“She recommended that intervention,” he said. “And, you know we still have to work at it. But it was the right decision at the time.”