Huffpost Politics

Ex-CIA Director Mike Morell Endorses House Benghazi Investigation

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ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former acting CIA Director Mike Morell said Monday that he supports the creation of a House panel tasked with investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

"A lot of people have looked at this, but the polls show that the American people still have questions. I want to make sure that all of those questions are cleared up. There are still some questions about the role of the agency. And there are still questions about my own personal role and I want to clear that up," he said during a discussion at the Panetta Institute in Monterey, Calif., according to Politico. "It might be surprising for you to hear me say this, but I am a supporter of the creation of this committee because I want all the facts to come together in one place and be presented as one -- by one entity as one thing, so the American people can see all of this."

Morell was hopeful the investigation would produce answers "unless politics takes over," which prompted a chuckle from Leon Panetta, Morell's former boss at the CIA and moderator of the discussion.

Expecting members of Congress to refrain from politicizing the attacks may be wishful thinking. While Republicans have chosen members for the select committee, Democrats remain divided over whether to participate. Many Democrats consider it a partisan effort aiming to inflict damage to President Barack Obama, whose party faces difficult prospects before November's midterm elections, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who may run for president in 2016.

Furthermore, Republican party committees are already fundraising over the issue.

Morell's endorsement is also a bit surprising given that he chided Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the committee's chairman, as recently as a week ago for claiming the former CIA official edited the administration's talking points about the attacks in order to cast the White House in a more favorable light.

"I was hopeful that the House Investigative Committee would come to its task with an open mind and with a desire to find the truth, but it appears that at least Mr. Gowdy has already made up his mind on certain points," Morell told CNN.

During his appearance on Monday, Morell once again sought to clear his name.

"There is absolutely no truth to that, and I am 100 percent confident that when this committee is done with its work that will be shown to be true," he said.

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