By Geneva Sands - 05/13/13 12:46 PM EDT
"They didn't want this to come out before the election, because this could have changed the election," said Trump on "Fox and Friends" of the White House.
“If this were now and the election were in a week from now. Benghazi could have turned around the election as it turned out,” he continued. “It's turning out to be a mess. But they accomplished their goal. They wanted it to be kept on the low burners, but now it's getting to be on the high burners. We'll see where it goes.”
Trump's comments come less than a week after the State Department’s deputy chief Gregory Hicks gave an emotional account of the nighttime terrorist attacks last year that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Hicks and two other witnesses, whom Republicans have described as whistleblowers, answered questions about the attack let Wednesday to the House Oversight Committee.
Republicans have slammed the Obama administration's handling of the attack, questioning if the mission was provided with adequate security before and during the assault and if talking points were altered to hide the terrorist nature of the incident.
The White House initially blamed the attack on a spontaneous protest, only later acknowledging that it was planned.
Hicks told lawmakers his “jaw dropped” when he heard United Nation Ambassador Susan Rice blame mob violence on television days after the attack.
Democrats have countered that Republicans are using their investigation for political purposes in hopes of damaging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential contender.
Trump on Monday said he expected the Benghazi probes to further damage the Obama administration and Clinton’s possible presidential bid.
"This is a Watergate-type of scandal to be honest. The difference is people died here and really died a gruesome death. This is the potential to be Watergate, so it could affect the current president and it could very well affect, I don't know,” he said.
“I think Hillary has a big problem," Trump added.