Sometimes, Republicans just can’t keep their goddamned mouths shut. Completely letting the cat out of the bag after many, many, many months of pretending the opposite, House Majority Leader and likely next Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) boasted to Sean Hannity that the select House committee investigating Benghazi was put together to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances at being elected to the White House. Of course, when the committee was put together in May 2014, we were all told that it was going to be a completely non-partisan effort to seek the truth about the events that led to four American deaths in September 2012.
We now know today what many of us figured last year when this kangaroo court was put together — this was just another attempt to use the tragedy of Benghazi to hurt Clinton due to her standing as the Presidential frontrunner for 2016. After multiple investigations found no intentional wrongdoing from either the State Department or the White House in regards to the terror attack in Libya, Republicans still pushed forward to create a select committee to continue their ‘fact-finding’ mission into those events. The real mission, of course, was to make Hillary appear untrustworthy and deceitful. (Hello email server scandal!)
While this had always been suspected and openly discussed by pundits, politicians and journalists, nobody really thought that Republican leadership would truly admit that was the case. Yet, Tuesday night, John Boehner’s likely successor appeared on Fox News and bragged that the select committee has hurt Clinton’s standing among American voters and that her numbers wouldn’t be where they are now if it weren’t for GOPers pushing for the committee’s creation.
This major oops moment came about because Hannity was pressing the California Republican on his conservatives creds. This is kind of Hannity’s thing, pushing Republicans to prove that they’ll appeal to the crazy end of the political spectrum. Anyway, after Sean railed on McCarthy a bit regarding his failure to repeal and/or defund Obamacare and allowing Obama’s “amnesty” program to go through, he allowed McCarthy a chance to make his case that he’s just the man conservatives have been waiting for, and the Leader didn’t disappoint.
“I knew you’d want to ask it. What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought and made that happen.”
As you’d imagine, this made Hannity very happy. The Fox News host essentially patted McCarthy on the back, saying that he gives him “credit for that.” While the Congressman may have felt good at the time that he proved to a tunnel visioned ideologue that he fit his narrow criteria for a Republican leader, he likely didn’t realize the fodder he provided Clinton’s campaign and Democrats in general. The reaction was pretty much as you’d expect.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, Rep. E.J. Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Committee, said that Republicans have abused their power and taxpayers money on this sham investigation.
“This stunning concession from Rep. McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public: the core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and never to conduct an even-handed search for the facts. It is shameful that Republicans have used this tragedy and the deaths of our fellow Americans for political gain. Republicans have blatantly abused their authority in Congress by spending more than $4.5 million in taxpayer funds to pay for a political campaign against Hillary Clinton.”
McCarthy and the GOP are going to have to do a lot of spinning and digging to get themselves out of this mess. At the same time, will this harm McCarthy’s chances to be the next Speaker and perhaps open the door for nutso Steve Scalise, who has spoken before white supremacy groups in the past, to become the top Republican on Capitol Hill?
Below is video of the interview, courtesy of Fox News: