Hillary Clinton defends herself on Benghazi; says she left White House in debt

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton defended her actions leading up to the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in an interview that is set to broadcast Monday night, telling ABC News that she relied on experts to determine the security measures that were necessary on the ground.

She also explained her decision to collect high fees from delivering speeches and said she was "in debt" when she and husband Bill Clinton left the White House in 2000.

"What I did was give very direct instructions that the people who have the expertise and experience in security ..." Clinton said of Benghazi to interviewer Diane Sawyer in a portion of their conversation that aired Monday morning on "Good Morning America."

"But personally?" interjected Sawyer.

"That is personal, though, Diane. I mean, I am not equipped to sit and look at blueprints to determine where the blast walls need to be or where the reinforcements need to be. That's why we hire people who have that expertise."

The entire interview will air in  prime-time special Monday evening. Clinton's memoir "Hard Choices" will be released Tuesday. She's doing a tour to promote the book, which comes as the former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady weighs a run for president in 2016.

In the ABC interview, Clinton defended her decision to collect high speaking fees, which have reportedly brought her millions of dollars. The former first lady said she and Bill Clinton were "in debt" when they left the White House and that giving speeches to make money is preferable to joining a specific company or organization to do so.

"We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy," said Clinton.

She added, "I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company."

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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