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Clinton Denies 'Delay' in Benghazi Response, Despite Accounts
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday defended the administration's response the night of the September 2012 terror attack in Libya, testifying before Congress that there were "no delays in decision-making" despite accounts to the contrary.
The secretary, after missing prior hearings due to illness, testified on the attack for the first time Wednesday morning before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
She said she has "no higher priority" than the security of her department's staff, and that she is committed to making the department "safer, stronger and more secure."
"As I have said many times, I take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right," Clinton said, later choking up when describing how she greeted the families of the victims when the caskets were returned.
The secretary went on to defend the administration's actions on the night of Sept. 11, when the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi came under fire and four Americans died.
"I directed our response from the State Department and stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government," she said. "No delays in decision-making. No denials of support from Washington or from our military."
Citing the findings of a review panel, she said: "The Board said the response saved American lives in real time -- and it did."
Several accounts relayed to Fox News, though, suggest possible delays in the response.
Fox News has learned from senior U.S. defense officials that a FAST team of Marines out of Spain was asked by State Department officials to change out of their Marine uniforms after being asked to leave for Libya to help -- this required them to deplane and delayed them by about 90 minutes, according to Pentagon officials.
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