Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told a radio interviewer today he doubts former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claims about not having knowledge of weapons transfers when asked about the matter during sworn testimony in a Senate hearing on Benghazi.
During the hearing in March, in response to a question from Paul, Clinton stated she did not know whether the U.S. mission in Libya was procuring or transferring weapons to Turkey and other Arab countries.
Those weapons transfers were allegedly intended to arm the rebels fighting in Syria.
Yet a New York Times report claimed that since early 2012, the CIA has been helping Arab governments and Turkey obtain and ship weapons to the Syrian rebels.
“I’m concerned about the veracity of how she responded,” Paul told “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio.
The alleged arms transfer actually mirrors one the Times reported in February as being proposed by Clinton herself. The Times described Clinton as one of the driving forces advocating for arming the Syrian rebels via Turkish and Arab cutouts.
The Times reported Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus had concocted the plan, which called for vetting rebels and arming Syrian fighters with the assistance of Arab countries.
If Clinton knew about the arms transfers at the time of the hearing, she may have committed perjury during her Benghazi testimony.
Paul told Klein the Times article shows “Hillary Clinton was the big cheerleader for arming Syria when there [were] two factions within the Obama administration arguing this. Hillary Clinton was the one cheering them on to get weapons.
“She was the hardliner that wanted to get involved in the war in Syria, and yet in the hearing she says, oh, she never heard of this,” Paul said. “I find that hard to believe.”
Continued Paul: “And after Clapper’s coming to Congress and lying because he said it was classified, my question to Hillary Clinton is, ‘Did you lie to Congress simply because it was a classified program, or were you telling the truth?’ And I really kind of doubt the secretary of State has no knowledge that the CIA is facilitating weapons to Syria.”
Listen to Paul’s interview with Klein below:
In the hearings over the Obama administration’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Paul asked Clinton: “Is the U.S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?”
“To Turkey?” Clinton asked. “I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me.”
Continued Paul: “It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that may have weapons, and what I’d like to know is the annex that was close by, were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries, Turkey included?”
Clinton replied: “Well, Senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.”
“You’re saying you don’t know?” asked Paul.
“I do not know,” Clinton said. “I don’t have any information on that.”