Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, on Monday accused the New York Times of using its investigation into the Benghazi attack as a way to boost a potential 2016 run for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Of course Secretary Clinton was in charge at the time, and you know there are just now a lot of rumors going and pushing about her running for president in 2016,” he said on Fox News, as recorded by the Hill. “So I think they are already laying the groundwork.”
Westmoreland, who disputed the report, said that the Times could only have written such a piece due to political motivations.
“The reports by the New York Times was — I don’t know why they put it out unless it was for political reasons, but we thoroughly dispute that story as far as the link to al Qaeda,” he said.
The New York Times report found little evidence that al Qaeda was involved in the attack on the U.S. consulate, and that the incident was spurred in part by an American anti-Islamic video.
The congressman said that the Times piece was an attempt to clear Clinton’s name.
“We are not quite as used to this kind of political machine as the president and the Clinton’s have, and so I think they are just laying the groundwork and trying to absolve [Clinton] from the lack of security that was sent over there, the number of requests for security that was turned down,” he said.