Say What? Kevin McCarthy Tells Benghazi Committee Critics To “Stop Playing Politics”

The House Majority Leader told reporters Wednesday that he misspoke last week when he told Fox News that the select committee had worked by doing political harm to Hillary Clinton.
kevin mccarthy press conferenceedited

In a true ‘are you fucking serious’ moment, House Majority Leader and potentially the next Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters gathered for House Republicans’ weekly press conference that those criticizing him for his comments about the Benghazi Committee need to “stop playing politics.” Last week during an appearance on Fox News’ Hannity, McCarthy told host Sean Hannity that the committee was proof of his solid conservative cred due to the political damage it has inflicted on Hillary Clinton, citing her sinking poll numbers as proof.

Since making those remarks, McCarthy has spent seemingly every waking hour trying to clarify and backtrack. However, the damage has been done to both Republicans and their pet Hillary-bashing stunt. Clinton’s campaign team has already run ads featuring his comments. House Oversight Chairman and misleading chart enthusiast Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) tossed his hat into the ring for Thursday’s Speaker vote, claiming McCarthy is an ineffective leader. Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has repeatedly blasted McCarthy for his remarks.

Prior to the press conference, the New York Times editorial board published an op-ed calling for Republicans to dismantle the committee as it is apparent to all that it is nothing more than a quest to damage Clinton’s credibility and find her personally responsible for the terrorist attack three years ago. Gowdy also took some more shots at McCarthy during an appearance on Morning Joe, obviously pissed off that his colleague gave away the game so easily on Fox News in an effort to kiss up to Hannity.

At the very beginning of Wednesday’s presser, outgoing Speaker John Boehner was pushed aside so McCarthy could get the first question. A reporter asked the Majority Leader to clarify his remarks and McCarthy had this to say in response.

“Let’s be very clear: Benghazi is not political. It was created for one purpose and one purpose only: to find the truth on behalf of the families of the four dead Americans. Period. The in­teg­rity of Trey Gowdy, the in­teg­rity of the work that has been done has nev­er come in­to ques­tion, and it nev­er should be. Stop play­ing polit­ics.”

Woof. That is some world-class chutzpah right there. Seriously, telling people to stop playing politics by criticizing a committee that you famously admitted is all about politically damaging a Presidential candidate takes some major league grapefruits. Or just a stunning lack of self-awareness.

Anyway, McCarthy also stated once again that he kinda misspoke and “could have been more clear.” Boehner stood up for his possible successor and did a glass houses analogy to drive the point home.

Below is video of McCarthy speaking, courtesy of C-SPAN:


Justin Baragona is the editor and publisher of Contemptor. Prior to starting the site, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He currently resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
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