House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday declined to wave off Republican party committees from fundraising off the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, claiming that Democrats are probably doing it, too.
Speaking at an event hosted by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Boehner was asked about a National Republican Congressional Committee email that linked to a contribution page asking supporters for donations ranging between $25 and $500.
“Listen, I’m involved in this investigation, I’m not involved in what goes on in the campaign committee,” he told moderator Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune, as quoted by Politico.
“All I know is that we’re trying to get to the truth here," he added. "And I’ve got to believe that the Democrats are probably fundraising off of Benghazi just like we are. Do you think when we had [Hurricane] Katrina, they weren’t fundraising [off of that]? I don’t know what the fundraising arm is doing. All I know is that it’s time to get to the truth."
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chosen by Boehner to lead a select committee to investigate the attacks, urged his fellow lawmakers not to fundraise off the attacks. But that hasn't stopped other Republican groups and candidates from doing so.
Gowdy explained the thinking on "Fox News Sunday."
“For me, I will not raise money on Benghazi, just like I never raised money using crime victims when I was a prosecutor,” he said. “And I’ve asked my colleagues to follow suit. But it would be helpful … if our colleagues on the other side of the aisle did not have selective amnesia when it comes to what’s appropriate to raise money off of and what is not.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Caller on Thursday claimed it found an instance of Democrats fundraising off the attacks.
On a webpage that featured a statement from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) condemning the NRCC, the Caller spotted a link titled “CONTRIBUTE NOW” directing supporters to donate. The link has since been removed, but a spokesperson for the DCCC said it was "absurd" to compare a fundraising email to a link to on a webpage.
Reached by The Huffington Post on Monday, the DCCC denied that they were fundraising off Benghazi.
“Unlike the NRCC, we are not fundraising off this terrible tragedy," spokesman Josh Schwerin said in a statement. "Speaker Boehner should show some leadership and tell his campaign committee to stop exploiting this tragedy for political gain. While Boehner may not be able to control his caucus, nobody believes that he couldn’t stop the NRCC from fundraising off Benghazi if he really wanted to.”
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