House GOP rents out theater to watch Benghazi movie

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House Republicans rented a movie theater to watch Hollywood’s new film about the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday, before the movie opened nationwide. 

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) coordinated the special showing of “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” for lawmakers attending a GOP retreat in Baltimore. Roughly 65 House Republicans attended, his office told The Hill. 

“Many of Congressman Walker’s colleagues in the conference expressed interest in the movie. We just helped arrange the movie theater,” spokesman Kyle Hall said. 

To catch it, some lawmakers had to skip out on Thursday evening’s Republican presidential debate. 

"We were tied up — some of us were watching ‘13 Hours,’ ” said Rep. Louie GohmertLouie GohmertGOP rep calls Clinton 'mentally impaired' GOP rep: Trump ‘courageous’ for giving Cruz speech GOP bill would block undocumenteds from military service MORE (R-Texas), who was on hand for the screening at the Landmark Theaters just across the street from the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel.  

“But I got back and watched a lot of the debate replayed." 

Rep. Bill FloresBill FloresWhat the 'Bernie Sanders wing of the GOP' can teach Congress Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Week ahead in tech: Crunch time for internet handoff opponents MORE (R-Texas), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, chose not to attend because his wife wanted to watch the debate with him on Thursday night.  

"My philosophy is happy wife, happy life," Flores quipped. "Gosh, I really, really wanted to go see it, but I said, 'OK, I'll do it when I get back home.'" 

The movie by Michael Bay, director of “Armageddon” and the “Transformers” franchise, has already become a darling of Republicans . They are treating it as a vindication of the party’s criticism of the Obama administration’s portrayal of the attacks.

On Friday, GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpObama reads mean tweet from Trump on ‘Kimmel’ 5 takeaways from the Pa. Senate debate Report: Clinton ordered operative to troll Trump with duck MORE is renting a movie theater in Urbandale, Iowa, to screen the film to potential caucusgoers.

During Thursday evening’s presidential debate, leading GOP candidate Ted CruzTed CruzBreitbart, liberal activist cooperated on GOP primary disruptions: report Juan Williams: When WikiLeaks leaked my cell number 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race MORE said that the movie portrayed “the incredible bravery of the men fighting for their lives in Benghazi and the politicians that abandoned them.” 

Four Americans died when terrorists attacked the U.S. compound in Benghazi, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. “13 Hours” focuses on the actions of the six CIA contractors who rushed to the rescue.