Tense exchange Thursday between Ron Johnson and John Kerry
WASHINGTON (WITI) — Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson picked a fight on Capitol Hill for the second day in a row on Thursday, January 24th.
On Thursday, there was a tense exchange between Johnson and Senator John Kerry during Kerry’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of State.
Johnson suggested the State Department hasn’t been honest about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.
Kerry rejected that argument.
Johnson: “I think it makes a big difference whether or not the American people have the confidence that the president and the administration is being truthful with them. So, I guess my question is do you agree with that point and are you willing to work with me or do you basically kind of agree with Hillary Clinton that that’s kind of yesterday’s news and let’s move on?”
Kerry: “Senator, if you are trying to get some daylight between me and Secretary Clinton that is not going to happen today on that score. But, I think you are not, I think you are talking past each other.”
Johnson: “Could be.”
Kerry: “I don’t think that was the question. If your question is should the American people get the truth and does it matter – Hillary Clinton would say yes and I say yes.”
This comes on the heels of another incident between Johnson and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday.
At times angry and choked with emotion, Clinton on Wednesday took on Republican critics of her department’s handling of the September terrorist attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, but repeatedly distanced herself from a direct role in specific situations.
Conservative Republicans challenged Clinton on the lack of security at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, where Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed, as well as the erroneous account provided four days later by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice that the attack grew spontaneously from a protest over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.
Sen. Ron Johnson, a tea party backed Wisconsin Republican serving his first term, persistently questioned Clinton on Wednesday morning about what he described as Rice “purposely misleading” the American people.
“We were misled that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact,” Johnson said, adding that “the American people could have known that within days.”
Shouting and gesturing with her arms in frustration, Clinton shot back: “With all due respect, 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 they’d go kill some Americans?”
Her fists shaking, she continued: “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.”