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Clinton: 'I Take Responsibility' For Benghazi Consulate Attack

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken the brunt of the responsibility for the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

As we've reported, what the White House knew and what they told the public officially has come under heavy scrutiny and sharp criticism from Republicans.

In fact, during the vice presidential debate, the first question asked of Vice President Joe Biden was about the incident and whether it represented a major intelligence failure. Biden said the White House did not know extra security had been requested by the outpost and he also asserted that the intelligence community believed that the attacks were, indeed, triggered by a protest against an anti-Muslim film.

In an interview with CNN last night, Clinton was asked if the Obama administration was trying to throw her "under the bus."

"I take responsibility," Clinton told CNN. "I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world — 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs."

In an interview with NBC News, Clinton also said that politics should be kept out of this kind of situation.

"I really believe that tragedies like what happened in Benghazi should be viewed in a non-political way," Clinton said. "Everybody should pull together as Americans."

She told NBC that she wasn't focusing on whom to blame but "what was happening and could happen. We did everything we could to keep our people safe, which is my primary responsibility."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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