Hillary Clinton, while campaigning for president in 2008, deliberately deceived the American people by fabricating a tale of landing “under sniper fire” during a trip to Bosnia in 1996 to bolster her foreign policy experience.
The lie, which she told more than once, is coming back to haunt her in the ongoing election cycle.
Clinton’s rival, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, has recently highlighted her false claims on the campaign trail, describing Clinton as a “world class liar” and calling out her “phony landing in Bosnia, where she said she was under attack and the attack turned out to be young girls handing her flowers” during a speech Wednesday.
In a speech at George Washington University in March 2008, the now-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said that, when she arrived in Bosnia on March 25, 1996, “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”
Soon after the speech, the deception came to light courtesy of a reporter from The Washington Post who was there. Her statements were awarded “four Pinocchios” by the newspaper, a rating reserved for political misstatements described as “whoppers.”
News video footage of her arrival at Tuzla, Bosnia shows then-First Lady Clinton walking calmly from the rear ramp of a U.S. Air Force aircraft alongside her then 16-year-old daughter Chelsea. The Clintons held their heads up and did not appear to be in any sort of hurry.
As a matter of fact, Hillary Clinton is shown spending time talking with a group of people, including an 8-year-old Bosnian girl who presented her with a poem, and later greeting American service members.
She lied to the American people about the sniper fire at least twice during her campaign, including in Dubuque, Iowa in December 2008.
Clinton claimed that she “misspoke” when she gave a dramatic account of her arrival in Bosnia.
Her explanation came in response to a question from the Philadelphia Daily News about the video footage that contradicted her allegations.
Clinton dismissed her fabricated story as a “minor blip” during the interview, which also involved The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I say a lot of things — millions of words a day — so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement,” she declared.
What I was told was that we had to land a certain way and move quickly because of the threat of sniper fire… I was also told that the greeting ceremony had been moved away from the tarmac but that there was this 8-year-old girl and, I can’t, I can’t rush by her, I’ve got to at least greet her — so I greeted her, I took her stuff and then I left, Now that’s my memory of it.
The Bosnia claim was part of “a growing list of instances in which Sen. Clinton has exaggerated her role in foreign and domestic policymaking,” declared Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the campaign of then-Sen. Barack Obama.
“Clinton’s Bosnia story is widely regarded as a lie,” acknowledges Business Insider.