June 09, 2014 9:16pm PT by Debbie Emery
Hillary Clinton Tells Diane Sawyer That Benghazi Crisis Is 'More Reason to Run' for President (Video)
Hillary Clinton addressed a wide range of topics during her sit-down with Diane Sawyer, from international crises to presidential plans.
During the in-depth interview that aired on ABC's primetime special Hillary Clinton: Public and Private – One on One with Diane Sawyer on Monday night, the former secretary of state discussed her timeline for deciding if she will run for president in 2016, the ongoing impact of the crisis in Benghazi, Libya, and Monica Lewinsky being back in the public eye.
Clinton admitted that the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods in Benghazi still weigh heavily on her heart.
"The hardest thing was to think about Sean Smith and Chris Stevens trapped," she said of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in 2012.
"I would give anything on earth if this had not happened. I am also clear in my own mind that we had a system. I take that responsibility, but I was not making security decisions. And I certainly would wish that we had made some of the changes that came to our attention to make as a result of the investigation. But I also am clear in my own mind that we had a system, and that system, of course, ended with me," she said.
When asked if this is the "cost of doing business," she replied: "We have to be thoughtful about where we send people…and how we keep them protected."
After two years and 13 hearings on the topic, the debate rages on, and there will be another investigation of Benghazi and Clinton. She said she doesn't know yet whether she will testify, but when asked if the situation was a reason not to run for president, she said it was more of an incentive.
"Actually, it's more of a reason to run, because I do not believe our great country should be playing minor-league ball. We ought to be in the majors," she said. "I view this as really apart from -- even a diversion from -- the hard work that the Congress should be doing about the problems facing our country and the world."
On whether she will be a presidential candidate in 2016, Clinton said: "I'm going to decide when it feels right for me to decide," adding that she won't make a decision before the end of this year. "I just want to kind of get through this year, travel around the country, sign books, help in the midterm elections in the fall, and then take a deep breath and kind of go through my pluses and minuses about what I will and will not be thinking about as I make the decision," she explained.
She said she would be "on the way to making a decision by the end of the year," but it's "probably likely" a decision will not be announced until next year. "I really like my life -- I am thrilled about becoming a grandmother in the fall. I want to know how I feel; this is not a dress rehearsal," she told Sawyer.
The ABC News anchor also touched on the sensitive subject of Monica Lewinsky, who has been back in the public eye recently.
"That is not something I spent a lot of time thinking about. I have moved on," said Clinton, reluctant to talk about the scandal that rocked her husband's presidency. "I am not going to comment on what I did or did not say [then]. I would wish her well.
"The eight years of the presidency taught me a lot. I don't think we need more political combat in our country," she said, advising that people should "do what is necessary to be resilient. Life is full of disappointments. I respect anyone who is knocked down and gets back up."
Clinton's memoir Hard Choices is released on Tuesday.
Watch a clip from her interview with Sawyer below.