Trump calls Gowdy, Benghazi hearings ‘a disaster’ for GOP
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE on Tuesday called Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyMore than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America MORE’s (R-S.C.) hearings on the Benghazi terrorist attack this fall “a disaster” for Republicans.

The GOP front-runner offered the opinion just after Gowdy appeared in Iowa with Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioChina sanctions Cruz, Rubio, others over Xinjiang legislation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K GOP chairman vows to protect whistleblowers following Vindman retirement over 'bullying' MORE to give the Florida Republican his official presidential endorsement.

Trump responded shortly after the Iowa event.

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“I hope @TGowdySC does better for Rubio than he did at the #Benghazi hearings, which were a total disaster for Republicans & America!” he tweeted.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Wells Fargo tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones | Google, Facebook join legal challenge to ICE foreign students rule | House Republican introduces bills to bolster federal cybersecurity Biden lets Trump be Trump 4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch MORE testified before Gowdy's panel in October. The grueling day of testimony is now seen as a positive moment for Hillary, as Republicans on the panel were unable to produce any significant revelations.

Since the testimony and a strong initial debate performance, Clinton has been seen as an even bigger favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Trump had already stepped up his attacks on Gowdy after news emerged late last week of the endorsement.

The real estate mogul and his campaign team, however, haven’t always been critical of the South Carolina congressman.

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Before working on Trump’s campaign, Trump adviser Katrina Pierson — while working for the Tea Party Leadership Fund — praised Gowdy and even urged supporters to donate and sign a petition to encourage Gowdy to run for Speaker of the House.

Gowdy’s endorsement for Rubio is seen as a boost for the presidential candidate that could be especially valuable in South Carlina, which hosts a primary on Feb. 20.

Trump leads national polls and state polls in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

He holds 35.6 percent support compared to 11.6 percent for Rubio according to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls.