Dorothy Woods is the wife of Navy Seal and hero of Benghazi, Ty Woods. She joined me this morning to discuss the past two weeks in the campaign:
HH: And I’m honored now to be joined by Dorothy Woods, who is the wife of Ty Woods, Navy SEAL, hero of Benghazi, defending, defender of the Benghazi compound during the long 13 hours we saw on film. Dorothy Woods, welcome, it’s good to speak to you on air.
DW: Thank you, Hugh. Good morning, thank you for having me.
HH: My pleasure. Dorothy, I’d like to start maybe at the end of our conversation. Your reaction to the Khan-Trump controversy involving the Gold Star family that are the Khans and Mr. Trump?
DW: Yes. Well, first and foremost, I would never, ever want to wish a Gold Star status on anyone. But I also truly believe that it should never be used as an excuse or a shield when we hear something, and when I say we collectively, the Gold Star families, when we hear something that we don’t like. The way I see it is no one ever questioned Major Khan’s sacrifice or his service or his death. He was rightfully given full military honors, you know, like my family, his family, have lived under the benefit of American citizenship. And the second generation, Major Khan and myself, we’ve chosen to give back. I believe that Major Khan was an American first that day, and that’s very important.
HH: Dorothy Woods…
DW: My issue…
HH: Okay, go ahead.
DW: So my issue here is I believe that the Khans are only public because they are Muslim. And to me, that sends the wrong message that they are more important than the rest of us. No loss is more or less important than the other.
HH: Let me ask you as well about the Purple Heart controversy since it’s also recent. Donald Trump was given a Purple Heart, for which some media people mocked him in his comments. What was your reaction to both the giving and the media reaction to Mr. Trump’s reception of the Purple Heart?
DW: Well, I was disturbed that he was criticized for accepting the Purple Heart. Some have said that he should not have accepted it. As someone who has actually served, I understand what it means to give your award to someone. This is what men and women in military do. This is, they feel very strongly about this. It’s an honor to give your award to another. And for Mr. Trump, quite frankly, to not have accepted it would have been an insult. Now personally, when Ty died, men left their tridents on his coffin. They have, and still do leave, their awards at his grave. You know, in fact, someone left a Silver Star at his gravesite. And for them, it’s an honor, and more importantly, it’s for them to recognize him and his sacrifice. It’s more an honor, it’s more important for them to honor him than to have that honor for themselves. So that’s how I feel about it.
HH: Now I want to go from the current controversies to the larger one.
HH: At the conclusion of the Benghazi proceeding, did you feel that justice had been done and an account given of what happened that night in Benghazi?
DW: Big picture wise, justice has not been done. The account of Benghazi with the committee, the special committee, you know, they were very clear on the answers that they had given. I believe that they had put out facts. And I truly believe that the, it’s up to now for the public and the voters to decide. I am thankful that the committee, you know, and I keep saying this, remember, that they are servants of the American people. They remembered what their job was, and their job was to answer questions. And they did that for me, and it just reiterated how I feel about the whole thing.
HH: When you learned that wheels were never turning towards Benghazi that night, how did you react to that?
DW: Well, I was not surprised, because I sort of kept in my head the type of warrior, the type of man, the type of American that Ty was. You know, that, to me, there’s a distinct difference between Ty and Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration. That night, American lives were important, the most important thing versus, you know, to Ty. That’s how he felt, versus Hillary Clinton, who you know, couldn’t be bothered with it. She dismissed it. She thought of herself. She thought of what that would look like. And that’s the fundamental difference. Whether or not there were wheels on the ground, on their way, you know, I can’t focus on that. That’s the DOD. That’s way above me. But you know, I am comforted in that I knew that Ty was where he wanted to be, and he did the best he could, and he saved American lives.
HH: Dorothy Woods is my guest. I’d like to turn now, Dorothy, to the events after the disaster in Benghazi and the killing of Ty and the other three Americans that terrible night. Their bodies were returned, and you met their bodies at the Air Force Base. Mrs. Clinton was there, was she not?
HH: Did she talk to you?
DW: She did. And there were quite a few dignitaries there from the administration. When it was my turn, she did come to me and she said sorry, gave me a hug, and that was it.
HH: Did she sit with you?
DW: She did. She sat next to me and held my hands, and there weren’t very many words. It was just sorry. It was emoted in her body language and her short words.
HH: Did she mention the video to you?
DW: She did not. I know that there are other family members who have said that. I can’t attest to that, but I know that she did not to me. And sometimes, I wonder if it’s because I had a big Navy SEAL standing behind me, and guys who also had worked with Ty from the agency. I don’t know. But she did not.
HH: Did you follow the controversy to its conclusion when she announced that it’s time to move on?
DW: I did, and you know, I don’t follow it so closely, because I think that it’s important for me to use her words, to live a life, the life that Ty would want for me, to be a good mother to our son. So I do hear snippets a little bit, and you know, her response to the report when someone had asked her about that, you know, she’s dismissive. It’s characteristic Clinton. It’s characteristic Obama. You know, let’s go ahead and sweep that under the rug. It doesn’t suit what I am, the narrative I’m trying to present about myself. And it’s time to move on. And while I understand she’s talking about the nation as a whole, you know, I can also extrapolate from that and say hey, you’re not telling me to move on. Nobody can tell me to move on. Nobody can tell me how to feel. Nobody can tell me how to think about it. So you know, for someone in that position, I feel like sometimes, she says things so that her words are easily offensive.
HH: Do you think she was speaking to you specifically when she said move on in the way that Mr. Trump was speaking specifically to the Khans when he responded to their criticism?
DW: I think that Hillary Clinton is a very smart woman. She’s been playing this political game for a very long time. She doesn’t, I believe the only time she’s ever been completely unhinged was when she did, had that comment in front of Congress, what difference does it make. But any other time, you know, I think that she says things. They’re well thought. And you know, the fallout after that, whether it be big picture or small picture, pointed, personal or not, is intentional.
HH: She appeared in front of Trey Gowdy, not she, but Director Comey, appeared in front of Trey Gowdy and had this exchange. I’d like to play for you the Trey Gowdy-Director Comey exchange following Mr. Comey’s press conference the next week.
TG: Good morning, Director Comey. Secretary Clinton said she never sent or received any classified information over her private email. Was that true?
JC: Our investigation found that there was classified information sent.
TG: So it was not true?
JC: Right, that’s what I said.
TG: Okay. Well, I’m looking for a little shorter answer so you and I are not here quite as long. Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her emails either sent or received. Was that true?
JC: That’s not true. There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents.
TG: Secretary Clinton said I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. Was that true?
JC: No, there was classified material emailed.
TG: Secretary Clinton said she used just one device. Was that true?
JC: She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of State.
TG: Secretary Clinton said all work related emails were returned to the State Department. Was that true?
JC: No. We found work related emails, thousands, that were not returned.
TG: Secretary Clinton said neither she nor anyone else deleted work related emails from her personal account. Was that true?
JC: That’s a harder one to answer. We found traces of work related emails in, on devices or in slack space. Whether they were deleted or whether when a server was changed out, something happened to them. There’s no doubt that there work related emails that were removed electronically from the email system.
TG: Secretary Clinton said her lawyers read every one of the emails and were overly inclusive. Did her lawyers read the email content individually?
HH: So Dorothy Woods, this is indicative of Mrs. Clinton’s truth-telling problem and why people don’t trust her. Do you trust her?
DW: No, I don’t. And I have personal experience with that. You know, when things like this come up that question her integrity, and then you hear about Donald Trump and the things that he says, you know, I think, you know, I feel like everybody, and this is my opinion, gets truly bent out of shape about how Trump says things. But time and time again, we’ve seen that Hillary is a woman who has repeatedly acted in a way that isn’t commander-in-chief like, you know? So I feel like the media forces us to base our decision, base our vote on someone who sounds bad versus someone who has, there’s actual evidence on how someone has acted when the chips were down. And in my case, we know how she acted. She let it go. She, you know, she turned her back. So to me, that’s just, you know, more evidence as a testament to see how she would be as a president.
HH: Has she ever called you again since the day you met her upon the return of Ty Woods’ remains to the country?
DW: No. She has not.
HH: And the SEAL community of which Ty was a member, and you are yourself a veteran, when they talk to you, do they have confidence in her as commander-in-chief?
DW: No, they do not.
HH: Why not?
DW: Because these are men who loved Ty. And while some of them knew him personally, others feel him as a brother. And irrespective of whether or not she becomes president, you know, they are going to do what is the right thing to do. Men at this caliber, and you know, I take that back. Men and women who serve our country because they volunteer, you know, they expect, and we at the very least should expect, that we will take care of them. We say we take care of their families at home, but when they are serving us in dangerous places, and they need help, we expect to go help them. They expect us to go help them. This instance, she did not. And if she did this to these guys, she’s going to do it again. She did this to me, and I can say that I take it personally. And I tell people, you know, I am a woman, I am a mother, I’m an immigrant, I’m a veteran. I am her demographic. She did this to me. She will do this again. I believe that. That is my personal opinion.
HH: Now Dorothy Woods, I’d like to go back, if I can, to the Khans.
HH: Because it has made such a huge impact on American media. They spoke from the heart. They are Gold Star family. As a civilian, I don’t critique anything that a Gold Star family, you or they, say. What do you think the media is doing with them? And is it right what is being done?
DW: Well, again, I can only give my opinion, and so for me, the fundamental difference between myself and the Khans is first, I would never, had it not been for the Ambassador dying, and how this, how Benghazi has fallen out, you wouldn’t hear from me. You wouldn’t know who I am. I truly believe the difference between my situation and theirs is that Hillary Clinton was directly involved in the events leading up to Ty’s death, and that the Obama administration had a hand in those events as well. I want, that is what I’m here for. You know, I am not out talking because Ty died. You know, we all know what happened. I’m not refuting those facts. I am here because of the way that Ty’s death was handled, the way it was narrated, the way it was ultimately handled with disrespect and negligence by both Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration. Like you said, I’m a veteran. You know, I’ve deployed. I understand that we are at war, and that no loss, the loss of Ty is no less or greater than anyone else. But that’s not why I’m here. I’m not here for the sacrifice. I’m here because of the way it was treated afterwards.
HH: And so in conclusion, Dorothy Woods, you’re a very powerful, very passionate, who do you recommend Americans vote for if their concern is the taking care of the military and of veterans, and especially of Gold Star families?
DW: So I’m not going to tell anyone how to vote, but this is, I want to put it very simply. I realize sometimes that we all have the best intentions, and that we make mistakes. I teach my four year old son to admit when you’re wrong, to say you’re sorry, and how are you going to fix it. To be honest with you, Hugh, if Hillary Clinton had done these three things regarding Benghazi, I wouldn’t be talking to you today. But she is, but Hillary Clinton cannot do what parents all over the country do to teach their kids right versus wrong, so she cannot fundamentally be our commander-in-chief. You know, it’s that simple. It’s that empirical to me. I wouldn’t teach my son, you know, to treat other people like that. And now she wants to be in charge of other people’s sons? No.
HH: Dorothy Woods, is there any way that Hillary Clinton can win your trust back?
DW: Well, I think that she, you know, it’s not just me. There are many people who you know, are waiting and looking and watching her. I don’t, personally, I don’t need her trust. She doesn’t need to win my trust. I’m just kind of a cog in the wheel. I think that her actions, the support of what she does, speak louder than her words. And that’s really what you need to do.
HH: Dorothy Woods, I want to thank you for spending time with us. I will make sure that this gets posted and pushed out. I appreciate very much the sacrifice you have made, and hope that you and your son are doing well. Come back whenever and anytime you have something to say. We will welcome you here.
DW: Thank you so much, Hugh. Have a good day.
HH: Thank you, Dorothy Woods.
End of interview.