The house committee on the Benghazi has spent seemingly countless hours scrutinizing how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handled the attack which left several Americans dead after the 2012 attack in Syria.
Though Democrats have accused Republicans of extending the committee to damage Clinton’s presidential campaign, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who is favored to take over John Boehner’s post as speaker of the house, indicated in an interview that the panel wasn’t working to find an unpartisan truth, Vox reported.
“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?,” McCarthy said on Sean Hannity’s “Roll Call.”
“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 that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the Benghazi committee, quickly jumped on McCarthy’s remarks, The New York Times reported. “This stunning concession from Representative McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public,” he said.
“The core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and never to conduct an evenhanded search for the facts.”
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s spokesman, called McCarthy’s response “a damning display of honesty by the possible next speaker of the House. Kevin McCarthy just confessed that the committee set up to look into the deaths of four brave Americans at Benghazi is a taxpayer-funded sham. This confirms Americans’ worst suspicions about what goes on in Washington.”
Though Democrats have been quick to criticize McCarthy, it’s unclear if it will impact his chances of obtaining the speaker of the house role. McCarthy would need 218 House votes to secure the job.