House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCalifornia sues Trump administration over fracking Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (R-Calif.) was wrong to link the House Select Committee on Benghazi to presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Democrats plot new approach to win over rural voters The Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Rosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts MORE's poll numbers, the panel's chairman said in a Wednesday interview.

“Well, he is a friend, but my first reaction is, ‘Kevin, you’re wrong,’” Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyGreen says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely Trump golfs with Graham ahead of impeachment trial Trey Gowdy returns to Fox News as contributor MORE (R-S.C.) said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe. “Kevin has apologized as profusely as a human being can apologize.

ADVERTISEMENT

“What I tell folks back home is, ‘I don’t care how many times you put an ear piece in your ear and looked into a camera, you still screwed up, and Kevin screwed up,’” he added of the house majority leader.

Gowdy argued on Wednesday that his committee’s work is focused on addressing the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on a U.S. facility in Libya and not Clinton’s White House run.

“Kevin is not on the Benghazi Committee,” he said. "We’ve had three public hearings and I’ve never mentioned her name.

“If you look at what we’ve done, the 50-some-odd witnesses we’ve already interviewed, not a single one has been named Clinton,” Gowdy said. "The 50,000 documents that we have accessed, that no other committee has accessed, less than 5 percent has anything to do with her.”

McCarthy's comments gave an opening to Democrats, who have long seen the panel as a partisan effort to take down Clinton. They also annoyed Republicans, who feared the remarks undermined preparations for Clinton's testimony on Oct. 22. 

Gowdy said he plans on personally questioning Clinton.

“All members of our committee are going to question Secretary Clinton and we were working on it as late as 11:00 p.m. last night,” he said.

McCarthy’s comments have raised concerns about his bid to replace Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA time for war, a time for peace — and always a time to defend America Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Soleimani killing deepens distrust between Trump, Democrats MORE (R-Ohio) following his exit from Congress at month’s end.

Reps. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE (R-Utah) and Daniel WebsterDaniel Alan WebsterCongress can't even study gun violence unless it changes the law Judd Gregg: Pelosi's olive branch...sort of Lawmakers propose banning shark fin trade MORE (R-Fla.) are now contesting McCarthy’s ascendancy to the speakership position.