Republican lawmakers, after struggling for weeks to get answers on the Libya terror attack, ripped into the Obama administration Thursday -- with one congressman claiming officials "lied to the American people."
Tempers boiled over as the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing with several analysts, though none would be considered key figures in the administration's Benghazi attack response. A few officials with inside knowledge were briefing select lawmakers behind closed doors Thursday; and in a win for lawmakers, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify next month.
But the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing swiftly became a venue for lawmakers to voice their frustrations and lob accusations at the administration. Lawmakers sparred early and often, with Democrats accusing Republicans of turning a tragedy into a "political football" and Republicans accusing the administration of hiding the truth.
"This administration has lied to the American people about this tragedy," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said. "The arrogance and dishonesty in all of this is breathtaking. Let's not stonewall this issue and cover up mistakes, which seems to be what is going on today."
Lawmakers continue to express concerns on several fronts -- on whether warnings in the months preceding Sept. 11 were ignored, and on why the administration first insisted the attack was a "spontaneous" act. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., also suggested the U.S. was ill-prepared for the threat posed in eastern Libya on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. "Somebody forgot to circle the calendar on 9/11," he said
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