Hillary Clinton interview debriefing

Bret Baier on questioning Hillary Clinton about Benghazi and other issues


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 18, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: Personal story segment tonight. Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren interviewed Hillary Clinton who's her new book.

Mrs. Clinton over Benghazi.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR OF "SPECIAL REPORT": Do you know where the president was through the attack?

HILLARY CLINTON, FMR. U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The president was in the White House. The president was in the Oval Office when I got word of the attack and I called the White House asking for National Security Advisor Donilon who is our point of contact for the entire government, which would mean CIA, DOD and others. And I was told, well, he is in with the president and with Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey.

BAIER: What exactly are you taking responsibility for?

CLINTON: I took responsibility for being at the head of the State Department at that time.


O'REILLY: And joining us now from Washington, the anchor of "Special Report," Bret Baier. So, I have a couple of questions. If all of those guys were in the meeting, why wasn't Hillary Clinton? She is Secretary of State. This is her turf. So you have got the joint -- you have got the Pentagon. You have got DOD, Department of Defense. You have got Donilon. You have got Obama, but no Hillary Clinton. Why wasn't she there? Why wasn't she summoned? She had to call them.

BAIER: Yeah. So she is talking about the very beginning of the attack in the Oval Office when the president meets with Panetta and Dempsey.

O'REILLY: OK. But why wasn't she called? I mean, somebody had to call Panetta. He doesn't have a tent on the White House lawn. But they had to call him, he'd got to go over. How come she wasn't called?

BAIER: Right. And that's part of the deal, Bill. Laying out the night that is still -- it's hard to believe, two years, almost two years later, not really laid out fully about where the president was throughout the attack.

O'REILLY: But you got - you got her to say and that was good, because I didn't know that, that was a good questions, you got it. While he was in there, he was working. But I don't know where she was. I would have said where were you, how come you didn't get?

BAIER: She was in her book, she's on the seventh floor of the State Department and throughout the attack she is monitoring.

O'REILLY: OK, but Baier, you get my point.

BAIER: Yeah, of course.

O'REILLY: He called Panetta over, Panetta gets to the limo and goes right. Why didn't he call her? Why not?

BAIER: Sure.

O'REILLY: It's her turf. All right, secondly. I watched the interview. It didn't seem like she had a lot of guilt about this. I mean, she doesn't think that she was responsible in any way for this attack. Maybe she wasn't. All right. I said in the past that secretaries of state they don't really micromanage security. But she doesn't really -- I didn't see, gee, I merely made a mistake and I'm sorry I screwed up. I didn't see that.

BAIER: Right. And there is also the fact that she still believes the video played a significant role. The anti-Islamic video played a significant role in Benghazi, even today. And she said something that was new. And that is the careening of intelligence. She thought it was the video. And then she thought it was a coordinated terrorist attack. What I was trying to get to in this kind of laying it all out was that she put out a press release on 9/11 2012 at 10:07 p.m. In which she says Benghazi is the result of this video that has been played throughout the Middle East. And she is saying that there was all kinds of fog of war intelligence happening at the time. The other thing, as you point out, is the responsibility. Listen, the ARB, the Accountability Review Board, they did not interview Hillary Clinton. There were four people named, one of them was retiring. Three of them were reassigned. No one got fired. So where was the responsibility after all of this?

O'REILLY: There wasn't any. I think your quote was that people make mistakes and it wasn't -- it was an honest thing or whatever. Now, how was she toward you and Greta? You know, before the camera went on and afterward and was she engaging? I mean, how was she?

BAIER: She was. I mean, she was very engaging. She was very cordial. She came in about 20 minutes before we started. I was on air, but came in about a few minutes before we started when we were in commercial break. We chatted. And she was clearly prepared, Bill. I mean, this night arguably on another network and this network, if you looked and asked analysts of all the interviews she did for this book tour, those were probably her most on, her A game. But, I will tell you this, there was some news in that some of those Benghazi answers, one, two, the separation with the president on a number of fronts, Iran, IRS scandal,.

O'REILLY: The border?

BAIER: The border.

O'REILLY: Right.

BAIER: I mean you name it, there were a number of things that she is trying to walk the walk.

O'REILLY: She has to. Now, you got a little heat on Twitter for being too soft but don't feel bad. I got that every time I interview President Obama or any of these. They want you to spill water on them, and throw water on. That's what they -- you know, the people who hate them want you to do.

BAIER: Yes. As you know any of these big interviews, the big thing is time. We had a unique situation and we were sharing the time. Seven minutes, seven minutes between Greta and myself. And you always want to ask more follow-ups but, yes, those Twitter comments and some of the emails, Bill, they were interesting.

O'REILLY: All right, Bret Baier, everybody

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