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Hillary Clinton says Benghazi probes won't deter possible White House bid

Former first lady Hillary Clinton sits down before the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washing
Former first lady Hillary Clinton sits down before the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton said the latest round of congressional investigations into the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, would not deter her from seeking the presidency.

"Actually, it is more of a reason to run because I do not believe our great country should be playing minor league ball," Clinton told ABC News.

"We ought to be in the majors. And 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," Clinton said in a televised excerpt from an interview airing on Monday with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.

Republicans have accused Clinton, who was then secretary of State, of not doing more to ensure the safety of Americans in Benghazi. Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the attack.

In the ABC interview, broadcast on the eve of the publication of her memoir, "Hard Choices," Clinton said she was "ultimately responsible for my people's safety." But pressed on whether there was more she could have done, she said there were limits.

"I'm not equipped to sit and look at blueprints, to determine where the blast walls need to be or where the reinforcements need to be," she said. "That's why we hire people who have that expertise."

Clinton, who is widely considered the Democratic front-runner if she enters the 2016 White House race, said she would decide on a possible presidential bid "when it feels right for me to decide."

Asked if it were likely she would not announce a decision until next year, she replied: "I'm not positive about that. But that's probably likely."

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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