Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits to testify at the House Select Committee on Benghazi Oct. 22, 2015. (Getty Images) Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits to testify at the House Select Committee on Benghazi Oct. 22, 2015. (Getty Images)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits to testify at the House Select Committee on Benghazi Oct. 22, 2015. (Getty Images)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher January 6, 2020

Facebook post's attack on Hillary Clinton over Benghazi and praise for Trump on Iraq mostly misses

A Facebook post blasts Hillary Clinton and praises President Donald Trump in contrasting how Clinton responded to an attack on Americans in Libya in 2012 with how Trump responded to the storming of the U.S. embassy in Iraq.

The claim, posted Jan. 1, the day after the Iraqi embassy was stormed, says:

"Hillary ignored multiple requests for security, didn’t respond for 13 hours, & let 4 Americans die in Benghazi. Trump rushed in reinforcements, threatened to destroy Iran, & made sure no lives were lost in Baghdad. That’s the difference between a traitor & a leader."

The post is wrong in its assertions about Clinton, who was secretary of state during the attack in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. The only element of truth in this comparison is that Trump did rush in military reinforcements.

Clinton and Benghazi

The Benghazi attacks killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. 

It’s true that the State Department did not honor requests for more security prior to the attacks, but there was no evidence that Clinton was made aware of those requests. 

As for Clinton’s response, none of the many congressional investigations about the attacks asserted (as Trump did) that she was inattentive throughout the hours in which the attacks occurred.

Moreover, it was not Clinton’s responsibility to send troops to the scene — the military chain of command took that responsibility. The Defense Department attempted to send help to the scene, but was unable to reach Benghazi before the deaths occurred. 

Several investigations found that no action by Clinton, or anybody in the administration, could have moved additional forces to Benghazi before the last American deaths.

Trump and Baghdad

The terrorist attacks were much more violent than the storming of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

As Time magazine reported, protesters broke into the U.S. Embassy compound shouting "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!" and smashed through a main door, set a reception area on fire, and covered the embassy wall with militia flags and anti-U.S. graffiti. 

The same day, Dec. 31, U.S. marines deployed to Iraq. The next day, Trump deployed more troops to the Middle East. 

Trump blamed Iran for the attack and issued a threat.

"Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities," Trump tweeted on Dec. 31: "They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy new year!"

Our ruling

A Facebook post attacked Clinton, claiming: "Hillary ignored multiple requests for security, didn’t respond for 13 hours, & let 4 Americans die in Benghazi. Trump rushed in reinforcements, threatened to destroy Iran, & made sure no lives were lost in Baghdad."

There was no evidence that Clinton ignored requests for more security before the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in attacks in Benghazi in 2012. It was the military’s responsibility, not Clinton’s, to respond; and several investigations concluded that no one in the administration could have moved additional forces to Benghazi before the last American deaths.

Meanwhile, in a much different situation, Trump did rush military reinforcements after the storming of the U.S. embassy in Iraq. He threatened to hold Iran responsible, but did not threaten its destruction.

We rate the statement Mostly False.

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Facebook post's attack on Hillary Clinton over Benghazi and praise for Trump on Iraq mostly misses

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