US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the blame for the widely criticized attack on the Benghazi US mission last month in a televised interview on Monday, in what seems to have been an attempt to take the heat off Barack Obama ahead of elections.

“I take responsibility,” Clinton said in an interview while visiting the Peruvian capital Lima. Clinton claimed responsibility for “any shortcoming in the handling” of the attack which claimed the lives of four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. “I’m in charge of the State Department – 60,000 plus people all over the world, 275 posts”.

President Barack Obama came under criticism over the attack after reports claimed the mission lacked security that could have deterred such assaults. According to AFP, State Department officials requested additional security in Benghazi but was turned down by superiors from Clinton’s department.

“The president and the vice president certainly wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals,” she said. “But we’re going to review everything to be sure we’re doing what needs to be done in an increasingly risky environment,” Clinton told Fox News.