Transcript: Hillary Clinton's Final Television Interview as Secretary of State


McFadden: I just want to ask you one other question about your health. I know there's no other plans for future public service, but if there were to be, would you feel comfortable making a pledge that you would release to whatever records--

Clinton: Oh of course, that doesn't bother me. I mean, that's just something that goes with the territory.

McFadden: Let's talk for a moment about Benghazi it seemed as though you lost your temper at the hearing momentarily the other day.

Clinton: Well, I believe that we should, in public life, whether you're in the administration or the congress, de-politicize crisis and work together to figure out what happened, what we can do to prevent it and then put into place both the institutional changes and the budgetary changes that are necessary. And the majority of the panelists in both the House and the Senate, I thought, were very constructive, asked sensible questions that deserved answers, but when someone tries to put it into a partisan lens, when they focus, not on the fact that we had such a terrible event happening with four dead Americans but instead what did somebody say on a Sunday morning talk show, that to me is not in keeping with the seriousness of the issue and the obligation we all have as public servants.

McFadden: Do you regret "what difference at this point does it make?" It has been so analyzed in the moment since you said it.

Clinton: No, because I think asking questions about talking points for a Sunday morning talk show is really missing the point. The accountability review board, chaired by Ambassador [Thomas] Pickering and Admiral [Michael] Mullen didn't pay any attention to that. They looked at what we could have done, what we have to do in order to prevent this in the future and remember, there have only been two of these accountability review boards for the time since 1988 ever made public. All the others have been made classified. I believe in transparency. I said, "let the chips fall where they may, put it all out there," and I don't want that to be politicized. I want it to serve as a framework for working together between the administration and the congress to keep our people safe.

McFadden: So you stand by what you said?

Clinton: Absolutely.

McFadden: You've repeatedly said that [Syrian] President [Bashar] Assad needs to go.

Clinton: Right.

McFadden: Starting two years ago--

Clinton: Right.

McFadden: And yet 60,000 Syrians are dead and he is still in office. What does it take for America to intervene?

Clinton: Well, I think we have been very actively involved. Until recently there was no credible opposition coalition and I can't stress strongly enough how important that is. You cannot even attempt a political solution if you don't have a recognized force to counter the Assad regime. It took them off the hook. It gave the Russians and others who are still either supporting them or on the fence, the ability to say, "well there's no opposition." We worked very hard to help stand up such an opposition.

McFadden: But is there a red line, Secretary Clinton--

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