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In a picture taken in Fredericksburg on Saturday,

Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, stood smiling next to a man holding

a sign that said “Hillary for U.S. ambassador to Libya.”

Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, removed a post from his Twitter and Instagram accounts in which he endorsed the idea of sending former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Libya to be the ambassador.

Brat said a new staffer made the post without his approval.

The picture was taken at a gun show in Fredericksburg on Saturday; Brat later posted that he had taken it down.

In the photo, Brat stood smiling next to a man holding a sign that said "Hillary for U.S. ambassador to Libya."

Brat's comment read, "Sign says it all."

Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans were killed in a raid on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi in September 2012. Many conservatives blame then-Secretary of State Clinton for their deaths. The House Select Committee on Benghazi issued an 800-page report following an investigation.

Brat took heat from critics on social media over his post.

Brat said in an interview Monday that a staffer made the post.

"I’ve got new staffers on board and they’re constantly putting posts up on Facebook and whatever, so I didn’t vet that," he said.

Brat said he told his staff to remove it because a staffer told him "people are interpreting it in crazy left, far-left-land logic that’s going on right now across the web."

Brat has repeatedly said he strives to not speak ill of anyone. And he said if someone looks at his Facebook page, they'll learn that it's the left that's using the vitriol.

"Who actually is using the vitriolic language? Me or the hard left? And the answer is right now online," he said.

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pwilson@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6061

Twitter: @patrickmwilson

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