In her last one-on-one interview before she steps down on Friday,
told the AP
that the attack in Clinton was the
low point of her time as Benghazi 's
top diplomat. But she suggested that the furor over the assault would not
affect whether she runs for president in 2016. America
Although she insisted that she has not decided what her future holds, she said she "absolutely" still plans to make a difference on issues she cares about in speeches and in a sequel to her 2003 memoir, "Living History," that will focus largely on her years as secretary of state.
An independent panel she convened to look into the incident was scathing in its criticism of the State Department and singled out four officials for serious management and leadership failures. But it also determined that there was no guarantee that extra personnel could have prevented the deaths of the
ambassador to U.S. ,
Chris Stevens, and three other Americans. Clinton herself was not blamed,
although she has said she accepted responsibility for the situation. Libya
"I was so unhappy with the way that some people refused to accept the facts, refused to accept the findings of an independent Accountability Review Board, politicized everything about this terrible attack," she said. "My job is to admit that we have to make improvements and we're going to."
In the interview,
little patience for such allegations. Clinton
"There are some people in politics and in the press who can't be confused by the facts," she said. "They just will not live in an evidence-based world. And that's regrettable. It's regrettable for our political system and for the people who serve our government in very dangerous, difficult circumstances."
At the same time,
she refused to be discouraged by the fact that critics "are never going to
accept the facts and the limitations of the facts." She added that
"you have to get up every day and work to do best you can and communicate
that to the vast majority of fair-minded Americans whether they're in Congress,
in the press or in the public." Clinton
Because of that, she said, the partisan divide should not dissuade anyone with a cause from getting involved in politics and she hinted strongly that a divisive atmosphere would not stop her in any future endeavor. "You have to have a thick skin because (politics) is just going to be a contact sport as far as we can look into the future."
But the woman who was once considered a divisive figure in American politics, yet leaves office as one of its most popular, remained coy about whether she would run for president in 2016.
"I am making no decisions, but I would never give that advice to someone that I wouldn't take myself," she said. "If you believe you can make a difference, not just in politics, in public service, in advocacy around all these important issues, then you have to be prepared to accept that you are not going to get 100 percent approval."
Asked if she still thought she could make a difference,
"Absolutely," but added quickly that she hadn't yet decided how. Clinton
"I have deliberately cabined it off," she said. "I am going to be secretary of state until the very last minute when I walk out the door. And then I am going to take the weekend off and then I may start thinking about all the various offers and requests and ideas that have come my way.
"I have made no decisions and I just can't until I have time to think it through and see how I am going to put it all together. I will certainly write something. I will certainly speak. Those are givens, but the rest of it I don't have in mind. And I hope through my writing and speaking to continue making a difference as well."