When it comes to Washington, “salacious allegations” and politics seem to go hand in hand.
In no mood to entertain further hits on the integrity of the committee he chairs, U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., pushed back Sunday on claims made by a fired staff member who says the Republican-led House Select Committee on Benghazi was more interested in targeting Hillary Clinton than finding out what happened in the 2012 attack.
The New York Times reported Saturday the fired staffer, Bradley Podliska, claims he was released for not participating in a partisan-driven effort to diminish the Democratic presidential candidate and plans to file suit over his dismissal.
Gowdy dismissed the claim, saying Podliska has “run to the press with his new salacious allegations” after failing to get money from the committee, according to Fox News.
The chairman added that he has never met with Podliska.
“Because I do not know him, and cannot recall ever speaking to him, I can say for certain he was never instructed by me to focus on Clinton, nor would he be a credible person to speak on my behalf,” the Republican lawmaker said.
Flipping the allegation on its head, Gowdy said the former staffer was warned about trying to discredit Clinton, having been told in April he was “improperly” focused on Clinton and instructed to cease, Fox News reported.
Podliska allegedly mishandled classified information as well.
Gowdy also said the former staffer never brought up Clinton as the discipline process over his “deficient performance” played out.
Already reeling from ill-advised comments made by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that implied the Benghazi committee was convened to damage Clinton’s chances of being elected, Gowdy isn’t taking this latest charge lying down.
In a statement released Sunday, Gowdy ripped into CNN for airing Podliska’s “sensationalistic and fabulist claims” without probing deeper.
And he insisted that the committee is focused on the right thing.
“This committee always has been and will be focused on the four brave Americans we lost in Benghazi and providing the final, definitive accounting of the Benghazi terrorist attacks for the American people,” Gowdy said.
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