McCarthy links Benghazi panel to Clinton’s falling poll numbers

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday evening linked the House Select Committee on Benghazi with Hillary Clinton’s dropping poll numbers. 

{mosads}”Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee,” McCarthy said on Fox News’s “Hannity.”
“What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable,” McCarthy continued.
“But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen,” McCarthy said on Fox while making his pitch to become the next Speaker. 
A spokesman for the Democratic presidential candidate immediately took to Twitter to highlight the remark:   
Fallon reportedly added Wednesday that McCarthy’s remark was a “damning display of honesty” and “confirms Americans’ worst suspicions about what goes on in Washington.” 
Clinton is slated to testify before the committee Oct. 22. 
“The Select Committee on Benghazi has always been focused on getting the facts about the attacks on our diplomatic facilities in Libya that led to the death of four Americans,” McCarthy spokesman Matt Sparks said in a statement Wednesday. 
“This was the right thing to do and the Committee has worked judiciously and honestly. As a result of that work, there are now numerous investigations being conducted — including the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Sparks continued.  
“These inquiries have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the consequences of what the former Secretary has done and her confusing, conflicting, and demonstrably false responses,” he added, emphasizing oversight of the administration.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration takes McCarthy “at his word,” before suggesting the GOP leader’s initial remarks spoke for themselves. 
“Leader McCarthy has committed the classic Washington gaffe of saying something that everybody already knows is true,” Earnest said. 
Democrats on the committee have said the panel has run its course and have accused Republicans of making it a partisan vehicle to attack the former secretary of State. 
The ranking Democrat on the Benghazi panel responded to McCarthy’s “stunning concession,” saying it showed “the core Republican goal” in creating the panel was to hurt Clinton politically.
“It is shameful that Republicans have used this tragedy and the deaths of our fellow Americans for political gain,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a statement Wednesday, noting that Congress has spent $4.5 million on the committee.
“In boasting of how the Select Committee had driven down the poll numbers of Secretary Hillary Clinton, McCarthy laid bare the abusive purpose of this taxpayer funded committee,” another Democrat on the panel, Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), said in a statement Wednesday.
Schiff said that after 16 months and millions of dollars, the committee “has gained no new insights into the attacks in Benghazi” and reiterated calls for the panel to end.
Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has maintained that the committee is nonpartisan and essential for a “definitive accounting” of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.
— This report was updated at 2:08 p.m.
Tags Adam Schiff Hillary Clinton Trey Gowdy

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