"The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" Clinton said in response to a question by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
Carney said hammering at the terminology in a set of talking points used in the immediate aftermath of the attack by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on the Sunday talk show circuit by Republicans amounted to "political obsession" that has no bearing "on the central issues."
Republicans have accused the administration of purposely misleading the public on what happened by saying the attack grew out of a demonstration against an anti-Islam film produced in California.
"No one took more seriously the fact that we lost four American lives in Benghazi than the president of the United States and the Secretary of State of the United States," Carney told the daily press briefing. "And whatever was said, based on information provided by the intelligence community on a series of Sunday shows, bears no relevance on the ultimate questions of what happened in Benghazi, who was responsible and what we must do to ensure that it never happens again and that we bring to justice those who killed our diplomats and other Americans."