Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, seemed dismayed when discussing House Majority Leaader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) recent comments about the Benghazi panel with the Washington Post.
“I heard from him at 6 a.m. the next morning,” Gowdy told the Post on Tuesday when asked about McCarthy. “How many times can somebody apologize? Yes, he’s apologized as many times as a human can apologize. It doesn’t change it. It doesn’t fix it. The only thing you can say is, instead of listening to someone else’s words, why don’t you look at our actions?”
Last week, McCarthy boasted on Fox News that the Benghazi committee had been successful in damaging Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers, forcing Republicans to defend the committee’s work.
According to the Post, Gowdy trailed off while discussing forgiveness:
“Kevin is a friend, which makes the disappointment, frankly, even more bitter. If faith tells you to forgive somebody…” Gowdy trails off. “It’s tough,” he says after a moment. “People should go by what we’ve done. How many people have we interviewed? How many of those people have been named Clinton?”
Gowdy told the Post that he has spoken to some of the Democrats who voted to form the Benghazi committee “because what Kevin said put them in an incredibly bad position.”
“I told them, ‘I want you to tell the people who are criticizing you for taking a chance on us to watch on the 22nd. If they think she’s being treated unfairly they can take it out on you. But that’s not what they are going to see,'” Gowdy said, referring to the committee’s upcoming hearing with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
And despite Democrats’ criticism of the committee’s work following McCarthy’s comments, Gowdy told the Post that he has good relationships with the Democrats on the Benghazi committee.
“I’ve never had a cross word with any of them. You’d be surprised what Democrats tell you privately versus publicly,” he said.
Gowdy also said that he is determined to stick with the Benghazi committee, despite being pushed by some of his colleagues to run for a House leadership spot.
“I don’t have a background in mental health, so I wouldn’t have the right qualifications to lead right now,” he told the Post.
He later commented that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has also decided against running for a leadership spot.
“If I had one draft choice and I was starting a new country, I would draft Paul to run it. Not because I agree with him on everything, but because he’s super, super smart. And when someone is super, super smart and is not interested, that tells you something. It tells me a lot,” he said.