Exclusive: Issa: The American people should listen to the Benghazi whistle-blowers

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 8, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: September 11th, 2012, U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi placed an ominous call to Greg Hicks, who was the number two diplomat in Libya. "Greg, we're under attack," is what the ambassador said. Hicks was the last person know to speak to the soon-to-be murdered ambassador, and today Hicks was one of three State Department whistle-blowers telling Congress what happened in Benghazi. So was there, and is there still, a cover-up? Here are parts of today's House hearing.


GREG HICKS, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION IN LIBYA: The response team from the annex in Benghazi, six individuals drove the attackers out of our compound and secured it temporarily. There have been estimates as high as 60 attackers were in the compound at one particular time.

At about 3:00 a.m. I received a call from the prime minister of Libya. I think it's the saddest phone call I've ever had in my life. He told me that ambassador Stevens had passed away.

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-SC: So fast forward, Mr. Hicks, to the Sunday talk shows and Susan Rice. What was your reaction to that?

HICKS: I was stunned. My jaw dropped. I was embarrassed.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UTAH: How did the personnel react to being told to stand down?

HICKS: They were furious. I can only say, well, I will quote ltd. Col. Gibson. He said "It's the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than somebody in the military."

GOWDY: When ambassador Stevens talked to you, perhaps minutes before he died, as a dying declaration, what precisely did he say to you?

HICKS: He said, "Greg, we're under attack."

CHAFFETZ: So the military is told to stand down, not engage in a fight. These are the kind of people willing to engage. Where did that message come down? Where did the stand down order come from?

HICKS: I believe it came from either AfriCom or South Africa.


VAN SUSTEREN: ON THE RECORD was inside those Benghazi hearings today. Afterwards we spoke with House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa.


VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Chairman, nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: You have gone through all the documents, you have talked to people weeks leading up to this. I'm curious, did you learn anything knew today?

ISSA: I think the American people learned today from these brave witnesses, these whistle-blowers, that the facts as we were told before during and after the attack at Benghazi simply aren't what they really were. The acting ambassador after Ambassador Stevens was murdered, what they did told us in great detail about what happened that day and what happened in the days to follow and why we should know that he knew and everyone else in the mission new from the moment it happened, from the get- go, as he said, that this was a terrorist attack.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ranking Member Cummings, he came out of the gate and said you were politicizing this.

ISSA: Things in Washington start off political. But when you have whistle-blowers come forward and they aren't Republicans or Democrats at all, the fact is these are career professionals, State Department people with as many as 32 years of public service. They are who we heard from today. I think people on both sides of the isle may have asked questions based on their view, but the answers are the answers the American people should listen to.

VAN SUSTEREN: Acting Ambassador Hicks said when Congressman Chaffetz went to Libya, that apparently, at least he testified to that he was instructed, Mr. Hicks, not to have any personal time or personal interview with Congressman Chaffetz.

ISSA: The fact they didn't want anything, if you will, off-the-record or anything that might be said that they wouldn't know, shows a level of concern they shouldn't have. Congressman Chaffetz was sent by me personally in preparation for the October 10th hearing, along with career people on the committee, staff members, just to get the facts as best they could. He did get some of those facts. But in many cases what he had was a minder, a lawyer from the State Department and a four-star general.

VAN SUSTEREN: Don't you want those minders, bring them in and ask to what extent it's choreographed?

ISSA: Greta, you have a lot of experience in law, and I only do this on committee, but you can be sent down erroneous paths look for wrongdoing, conspiracies that probably happened. Those lawyers were probably sent by somebody to keep us from get to go somebody. But candidly, as quickly as possible, we simply want to have the whistleblowers that are still out there, in fact witnesses that are still out there to come forward, tell us their story. We will get it out and we will close up this investigation.

I don't want to be chasing down every rabbit hole over how the administration was paranoid about us finding out. I'm only concerned about how do we keep this from happening in the future? And Congressman Cummings repeatedly said the exact same things. We need to find these facts so we can make sure it doesn't happen again.

VAN SUSTEREN: What prompted Mr. Hicks to come forward and now? This happened back in September and I think he came forward probably about late March is when he first wanted to talk.

ISSA: I think he tried to work within the system. The call that he had, multiple calls that he had where he said I don't know how you are getting this idea that this was a demonstration. I knew better, you should know better, and then be rebuffed by senior State Department personnel, and a series of activities, including essentially his being called on the carpet and pulled and put into a lower position. I think those kinds of reprisals that came from his coming forward to say you guys don't have it right, and he did that in the system before he ever came to Congress, I think that's what probably convinced him that he had no salvation within state, that he would have to fight for what was true with Congress.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Chairman, thank you, sir.

ISSA: Thank you, Greta.