This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 23, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: So what did she know and when did she know it? Welcome to "Hannity."
Tonight, we will begin with the moment that everybody's been waiting for. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's highly anticipated testimony about what happened in Benghazi on the night of September the 11th, 2012 that left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.
Now, before we take you inside the hearings, we do have an update on the story that we broke last night, it is the shocking report about four U.S. F-16 fighters jets that are headed to Egypt as part of an aid package with that country.
Now, tonight, we have the very first photo of what those exact jets look like, now, they're even customized with the Egyptian flag right on the tail of the plane. We'll have more on that later.
But first tonight, our soon to be departing Secretary of State appeared before both the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees today and not surprisingly after months of waiting, a number of members jumped at the chance to finally get to the bottom of what happened the night that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
But in the end, Secretary Clinton fiercely defended U.N. ambassador Susan Rice who in fact misled the American people by blaming the consulate attack on some anti-Muslim YouTube video. And the most disturbing moment of the secretary's testimony, it cane when she appeared to indicate, it doesn't matter who is behind the attack. What their motivation was? Oh, really? Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: The fact is, we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
Now, honestly I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real-time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear, it is from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice and then maybe we'll figure out what was going on in the meantime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Lying to the American people for two consecutive weeks? Now, forgive me, but I'm going to bet it makes a difference to the families of the four dead Americans. Now, another tense moments came during exchange between Clinton and Senator Rand Paul when he told the secretary that she should be fired over her epic failure to lead her department. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I'm glad that you're accepting responsibility. I think it ultimately with your leaving you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11 and I really mean that. Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post.
I think it's inexcusable, I think it's inexcusable that you did not know about this and you did not read these cables. I would think by anybody's estimation, Libya has to have been one of the hottest of hot spots around the world. It was a failure of leadership not to be involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And joining me tonight is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Senator, welcome back, welcome to the program.
PAUL: Glad to be with you.
HANNITY: All right. Let's just get your overview of what you thought of the hearings. What did you think specifically about her answers today? Do you feel that things were clarified?
PAUL: Well, you know, one of the things we've suspected for a long time is that she did not read the cables. There were pleas for help, these were pleas for security coming from the ambassador, coming from Benghazi. They were turned down. Meanwhile, they're spending money in Europe on electrical cars and electrical charging stations, but they had real pleas for security and they turned them down.
And I think that's inexcusable and I called her to task on that because I think that the families of those who died at Benghazi, they deserve accountability. They deserve someone to step up and take responsibility and I think it's wrong that no one was fired. I was disappointed after the original 9/11 when no one was fired, but I'm doubly disappointed now that no one was really held accountable and so I held her accountable today and I hope that people will hold her accountable.
HANNITY: There are three phases about this that I see, Senator. One is the before period, during and after. Staying on the before for just a second here, there were multiple occasions that we know of when they requested in Benghazi additional security and even the ambassador said, they could not survive a sustained assault. Now, not only did we not grant their request for more security, we cut it back. And as any explanation been given as to why?
PAUL: You know, that's what I've been most concerned with is the before. In the middle of this, and in the aftermath, I think there was a political cover-up. I think there was this fog of war, but for a year in advance of this, there's no excuse for not providing security, particularly when they were requesting it, they turned down a 16 person security detail. They turned down a DC-3. There were these explosions happening around, there were attempted assassinations and there were no Marines, there were no Marines there.
And I think the real problem, this is something the review board failed to get to and it's a problem coming up in the future that may lead to further tragedy is the embassy in a war torn area like Libya should be treated like a war zone. And it should be protected by the military. I don't think the State Department's capable of this. So, I fear there could be another tragedy unless we have the military guarding embassies in very dangerous countries.
HANNITY: Secretary Clinton had four months to prepare for this appearance today before both committees. Did you get the sense, being in the room, that that indignation, that feigned outrage that she showed to Senator Johnson was pre-planned?
PAUL: You know, I think in some ways, I think she feels some guilt over this. I hope she feels accountable for this, I hope she feels culpability, but I think some of her lashing out at Senator Johnson was sort of a way to sort of get off her chest, her feelings offer this because I think it is-- it has taken an emotional toll on her and rightfully so, but really, these were tough decisions and she didn't show leadership in this. The fact that she wasn't reading these cables from Ambassador Stevens, she wasn't performing her job adequately and I think for that, she needs to be held accountable.
HANNITY: All right. There are two waves of attacks that happened on September the 11th on that day, and we know it was in the final hour when for example, Ty Woods of the Navy SEAL gave his life, he saved a lot of people up to that point. Did you get an adequate explanation as to why help was not fourth coming from our government or where the President was, and what's the rational for the decision not to send these guys help? Charlene Lamb said they were watching it at the State Department in real time.
PAUL: Yes. No. I didn't get an adequate explanation and the other question that needs to be asked is, do we have these battleships and these air ships, where are they? If they're in Germany, is that close enough to the Middle East? Should the battleships or airships had been in Italy? Should they be in North Africa? Should there be a military presence in Libya if we're going to have an embassy there? There's a lot of questions that I think were not fully answered, there are a lot of questions that were incompletely answered but ultimately I think really the biggest problem here was, that they tried to treat the embassy in Libya like they would the embassy in Paris.
They tried to say they're the same thing and they're not. One is in a war zone and should have been treated differently. I'm still fearful that in the future, we could have another problem in Libya or if Syria gets a new government, are we going to do the same thing and send an embassy to a new government in Syria without adequate military protection, that's what I'm concerned about.
HANNITY: All right. Let me go to because now it's the whole question of afterwards. Now, I know that Susan Rice's name came up and Secretary Clinton defended Susan Rice a lot today. She went on five Sunday shows.
But that was, what? Five days after the attack. Her state department was watching this attack in real time, they knew it had nothing to do with this video. But she and President Obama put out this PSA, I want to air it for audience so that they can be reminded of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Since our founding, the United States is been a nation that respects all favorites, we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justifications for this type of senseless violence, none.
CLINTON: Let me state very clearly, and I hope it is obvious, that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its contents and message. America's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Senator, that's eight days after the attack, 14 days after the attack, the president himself is still blaming the video. All the evidence to the contrary from the president of Libya, to our own State Department watching in Real Time. We knew that wasn't true.
PAUL: Without question, without question, there was a political cover-up. Without question--
HANNITY: Why, why do you think that is?
PAUL: Well, I asked one question. I got one question in towards the end of my period and I said, were we involved with selling, buying or procuring or transferring arms to Turkey? I think arms were being sold and have been sold out of Libya to turkey and they're winding up in the hands of the Syrian rebels. I think they did not want to draw attention to that, that may have been occurring to the CIA annex.
I don't have proof of this. No one's given me any information, I have no briefing to this, but there have been articles in the news print and then the press saying, that there's some gun running going on and I think they wanted to get attention away from there and say, oh, it had to do with something like a movie to draw attention away from maybe it had something to do with the gun running apparatus or gun running organization that was happening in Benghazi.
HANNITY: All right. Good job today, Senator, thank you and thanks for asking some tough questions today, we appreciate it.
PAUL: Thank you, Sean.
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