Defeated tea party-favorite Rep. Allen West (R-FL) suggested on Thursday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was only pretending to be sick and have a concussion to avoid testifying about the September attacks in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
The State Department confirmed on Wednesday that four officials had resigned after a report that found “systematic failures” of leadership prior to the Benghazi attack, but West told Fox News that he wouldn’t be satisfied until Clinton, who recently fainted and hit her head, testified before Congress.
“I think it has to happen,” West explained to Fox News host Gretchen Carlson on Thursday. “I’m not a doctor, but it seems as though the Secretary of State has come down with a case of Benghazi flu.”
“Just because we see the resignation of some bureaucrats… that doesn’t not mean that this ends,” he added. “I don’t think this should become the new normal and the next thing you know four years from now, we have Hillary Clinton running for president, when we had this death of the ambassador and two former Navy SEALS and a foreign service officer.”
Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton also told Fox News on Monday that Clinton might have faked her illness.
“You know, every foreign service officer in every foreign ministry in the world knows the phrase I am about to use, when you don’t want to go to a meeting or conference or an event, you have a ‘diplomatic illness,’” Bolton opined. “And this is a ‘diplomatic illness’ to beat the band. I mean, I certainly hope it’s nothing serious. But this was revealed in a way that I think was not transparent and I think there is an obligation here.”
Though many speculate the Benghazi report’s findings could tarnish Clinton’s legacy at the State Department, retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who led the inquiry, said the responsibility fell on those lower in the chain of command.
“We fixed (responsibility) at the assistant secretary level, which is, in our view, the appropriate place to look for where the decision-making in fact takes place,” he told reporters.