Patricia Smith, the mother of an American killed in the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, will be one of Donald Trump’s guests at Wednesday’s presidential debate.
Smith has been a vocal critic of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and has made it her mission to find out what happened during the coordinated terrorist strike. She delivered a passionate speech at the Republican National Convention in July, saying that she “personally” holds Clinton accountable for the death of her son, Sean, and blames her for “murdering” him.
Smith is accusing Clinton of not only failing to act once the Sept. 11, 2012, attack was underway, but also lying to the victims’ families afterward by saying a video was to blame for the offensive.
"This entire campaign comes down to a single question: If Hillary Clinton can't give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?" the San Diego mother said at the opening night of the RNC.
Sean Smith, a State Department IT consultant, was one of four Americans killed in the Benghazi bloodshed that also took the life of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The video that Smith mentioned has been a central part of the inquiry into what caused the attack. She and other family members of those killed have said Clinton told them specifically that the release of a YouTube video appearing to mock Islam incited protests in Libya and other parts of the Middle East.
But other family members, including the father of Stevens, told PolitiFact that they never recalled a video being discussed. Clinton has denied mentioning the video, and she said in an interview last December that conversations at the time were "part of the fog of war" and officials were being given rapidly changing information.
Smith, along with the parent of another Benghazi victim, Tyrone Woods, filed a wrongful death suit this summer against Clinton, claiming her use of a private e-mail server contributed to the attacks.
She said she has never met Trump, but accepted his invitation for personal reasons.
"All I care is that whenever people give me the opportunity to speak out for my son, to be his voice, I will take it," Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune this week. "I will keep calling out for justice from the government. I won’t give up."
The Republican presidential nominee previously invited three women who accused former President Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual behavior to the second debate, along with a woman whose accused rapists were defended by Hillary Clinton when she was a 27-year-old lawyer.