US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she takes responsibility for the security failure at the Benghazi consulate that led to the killing of four Americans in Libya last month.
Mrs Clinton said ensuring the safety of US diplomatic staff overseas was her job, not that of the White House.
US Republicans have strongly criticised President Barack Obama over the attack.
And Republican challenger Mitt Romney is likely to raise it again in the second campaign debate with Mr Obama.
“I take responsibility,” Mrs Clinton told CNN. “I’m in charge of the state department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world [at] 275 posts.”
It seems Mrs Clinton is trying to draw criticism away from Mr Obama, who needs a strong debate performance if he is to recover his lead in the polls, says the BBC’s Adam Brookes in Washington.
In her interviews with US TV channels, Mrs Clinton appeared to acknowledge that she was trying to shield the president, our correspondent says.
“What we had to do in the state department was keep focused not on why something happened – that was for the intelligence community to determine – but what was happening and what could happen,” Mrs Clinton said.
BBC has the full article, video provided by Fox News