Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton passed a tough political test on Thursday, calmly deflecting harsh Republican criticism of her handling of the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, during a testy 11-hour hearing in Congress.
In testimony that stretched deep into the night, the former secretary of state rejected Republican accusations that she ignored requests for security upgrades in Libya and misinformed the public about the cause of the attack by suspected Islamist militants that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi.
Clinton, 67, stayed out of the political fray during several heated arguments between Republicans and her Democratic allies and remained composed under aggressive questioning from Republican lawmakers.
The long hearing uncovered no new revelations in a deadly incident that has been the subject of a half-dozen other congressional investigations and an independent inquiry.
Clinton said it was "personally painful" to be accused of ignoring security upgrades that could have saved the life of ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the diplomatic compound.
"I've thought more about what happened than all of you put together," she told the Republican-led special panel. "I've lost more sleep than all of you put together. I've been racking my brain about what could have been done, should have been done."