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Protester to Bill Clinton: Hillary Tried to Cover Up Benghazi

Bill Clinton got into a tense squabble with a Benghazi protester during a South Carolina campaign stop, telling the man who interrupted him, "Shut up and listen to my answer."

The confrontation happened Friday during an appearance in Bluffton, South Carolina, where the former president was speaking on behalf of wife Hillary, the front-runner in the Democratic race for the White House.

Related: In South Carolina, Clinton Aims for Decisive Blow Against Sanders

The audience member identified himself as a Marine who had done two tours in Iraq and demanded answers about the four American deaths that resulted from the Benghazi, Libya, attack on a U.S. compound on Sept. 11, 2012, when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

Protesters Heckle Bill Clinton at Hillary Clinton Rally 3:40

"We had four lives in Benghazi that were killed and your wife tried to cover it up," the man said, to boos from the crowd.

Former President Clinton thanked the man for his service and tried to break in to respond, but the man kept talking.

"Would you let me answer?" Clinton asked. "You listen to me."

Clinton then snapped: "Am I allowed to answer? I'm not your commander-in-chief anymore but if I were, I'd tell you to be more polite and sit down."

Related: Benghazi 101: What You Need to Know

Security guards started closing in on the protester as he continued to raise his voice.

"Do you have the courage to listen to my answer? Don't throw him out. Shut up and listen to my answer. I'll answer it," Clinton said.

The man and a second protester — a woman who yelled, "Hillary lied over four coffins!" — were eventually escorted out of the venue.

Talking over the agitated crowd, Clinton said he wanted to go over the facts: that two people who died were CIA contractors and military veterans, and the other two were U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and his aide.

"The ambassador to Libya was a personal friend of Hillary's. You can imagine how she feels when people make these charges. The implication is that somehow she should have known all about that and forbidden them to go," he said.

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The Benghazi attack caused a slew of political fallout, especially for Hillary Clinton. Republicans contend the Obama administration didn't respond appropriately to intelligence warnings before the attack, and then covered up what had happened.

While independent investigations have disproved that, the controversy has haunted Clinton — and only got worse when it was discovered that Clinton had used unauthorized, private email servers for official State Department communication.

Clinton's trustworthiness has been a sticking point in the 2016 election. According to a Gallup poll released this week, when asked what comes to mind when they think of Clinton, 21 percent of Americans said they felt she was dishonest or a liar.