Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsConsultant with energy clients helped Pruitt get Rose Bowl tickets Five takeaways on the IG’s scathing report on the FBI Top Dems: IG report shows Comey's actions helped Trump win election MORE (D-Md.) on Thursday said Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonKoch brothers group won't back Stewart in Virginia Giuliani says his demand for Mueller probe to be suspended was for show Poll: GOP challenger narrowly leads Heitkamp in North Dakota MORE “can fend for herself” in further investigations over Benghazi. 

On MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Cummings was asked whether any representatives for the former secretary of State communicated with House Democrats about participating in the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

“No, no. Let me be clear. I believe that Secretary Clinton can fend for herself,” said Cummings, who was named ranking member of the panel a day earlier.

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The congressman said he’s concerned Republicans will not act fairly, citing the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Cummings is the top Democrat on that panel.  

Cummings said its chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), would bring in witnesses to speak about Benghazi, but Democrats did not have access to those witnesses.

“If there’s not a search for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, there’s a problem. So it’s better to be in the room,” he said, explaining the reason for the Democrats’ decision to participate. 

Cummings said he would meet with the Benghazi panel’s appointed chairman, Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyMark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix Gowdy: House will use 'full arsenal' of constitutional weapons to get DOJ, FBI compliance on subpoenas MORE (R-S.C.), “very shortly” to discuss the committee’s direction. 

“We’re going to be going over what the aim of the committee is and what questions they’re trying to answer,” he said.

Despite his willingness to get involved, Cummings said he’s “still trying to figure out what the purpose” of the committee is after at least seven government investigations into the terror attack.

On Wednesday, former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) questioned Rep. Tammy Duckworth's (D-Ill.) loyalties. The Iraq war veteran and double amputee was appointed to the select committee on Wednesday.

Asked for a reaction, Cummings said, “It doesn’t even deserve a response. He should be ashamed of himself. If I see him, I’ll tell him that."