Did Hillary Clinton take a 2016 detour on her supposedly non-political paid speaking circuit?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday that Clinton, during her latest paid speaking gig to the National Association of Convenience Stores, spent nearly half an hour discussing the story behind the 2011 Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, specifically highlighting Vice President Joe Biden's opposition to the mission.
Clinton, the former Secretary of State who could square off against Biden for the Democratic nomination in 2016, stressed that she backed the raid, while Biden did not.
Georgia state Rep. Tom Taylor, who was in the room Tuesday for the Atlanta speech, recounted the tidbit to the Journal-Constitution.
"I know she's running for president now, because toward the end, she was asked about the Osama bin Laden raid. She took 25 minutes to answer," the Republican state lawmaker said, according to the paper. "Without turning the knife too deeply, she put it to Biden."
But a spokesman for the convenience store group who was in the audience said that account was misleading.
"There are a lot of problems with that story," said Jeff Lenard, a NACS spokesman. "I don't think anybody in the audience came away with that perception or recollection of the speech. It's not an accurate portrayal of what happened yesterday"
Nevertheless, America Rising PAC, a Republican group tracking Clinton's every move, flagged the comments for reporters yesterday, circulating them in an email titled, "Shots Fired: Clinton Attacks Biden Over Bin Laden Raid."
Audience members were forbidden from taking photographs and recording audio or video of the event, a standing policy at each of her speeches to industry groups. Journalists were not allowed to cover the speech.
Clinton is paid a reported $200,000 for her speaking appearances.
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