Richard Engel: Republican convention went to a ‘very dark place’ to exploit Benghazi mother’s grief

Speaking to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow this Monday, NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel commented on a speech by Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith who was one of the four Americans killed in the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Maddow started out the segment reacting to Smith’s “very emotional, very raw remarks which included her saying that she held Hillary Clinton personally responsible – personally for the death of her son.”

Maddow additionally pointed out that Smith also expressed that she’d like to see Clinton is prison.

Maddow then brought on Engel who personally knew U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, who was also killed in the attack.

“Richard, what’s your response to how this has been addressed tonight at the convention?” Maddow asked. “How do you hear this?”

“I knew Ambassador Stevens and spent some time with him in Benghazi during the war, and it was a very chaotic time,” Engel responded.

It was a time where you didn’t know which militias you could trust, you were feeling a lot of support one day from a particular rebel group if you were helping them, but then if they didn’t feel they were getting enough help, they might turn on you, and I think that’s really what happened here.

Engel went on to describe the “misunderstanding of the security situation” that led to the attack and the misreading of how dangerous Benghazi was, adding that whether the response was “perfect or imperfect has been studied time and time again.”

But to hear this grieving mother — and you could only sympathize with her grief — to lay the blame directly at Hillary Clinton, saying that Hillary was responsible for her son’s death — personally responsible, doesn’t correspond with the facts as I know them and as I’ve read them in subsequent investigations, and it does seem to be a manipulation of someone’s grief and going to a very dark place.

Watch the video below, via MSNBC:



  1. Avatar

    0hilip Brett

    July 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Anybody who refuses to blame Clinton for Libya is delusional. To try to blame what happened at the embassy on anything other than lack of planning is just disingenuous political poppycock.

  2. Avatar


    July 20, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Quite another recall of that very same event:

    SEPTEMBER 17, 2012
    Eugene in North Carolina writes:

    I am Sean Smith’s father-in-law. On behalf of our family, I would like to thank President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary Clinton, and the entire State Department team for the way you have responded. Sean was honored in a dignified and appropriate way without politics. Some day, I will post a drawing from my granddaughter of the American Flag, when she was inspired by the memorial ceremonies for her father. Thank you everyone for all that you have done. What a fine community you are at State with a wonderful leader in Hillary Clinton!!”

  3. Avatar

    carola fischer

    July 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    How does this TRUTH HIT YOU??Look at TOTAL MANIPULATION by the GOP OF THE MOTHER.Shame to the GOP Who does not stop for Nothing.And they call themselves CHRISTIANS.HOW LOW WILL THEY STOOP???

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