09/09/2014 11:35 am ET Updated Sep 09, 2014

GOP Congressman Lynn Westmoreland Denounces 'Our Enemy' In The White House

Bill Clark via Getty Images

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) attended a breakfast for the Cobb County Republican Party on Saturday where he denounced "our enemy," President Barack Obama.

“I think our enemy stands on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said before a crowd of 75, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. He later drew laughter for calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), a frequent target for Republicans this cycle, "ruthless and senile."

Westmoreland, whose office was not immediately available to comment, also addressed the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which he is investigating as a member on a new House select committee tasked with re-examining the incident.

“I’m not going to stand here and confirm or deny anything,” Westmoreland told the crowd. “Our job is to figure out the truth.”

Admission for the Marietta, Georgia, event was $10. The Cobb County GOP touted the event as a "very unusual breakfast" where its supporters would receive an "update on the Benghazi investigation."

"Congressman Westmoreland was selected by Speaker Boehner to serve on the House Select Committee on Benghazi," read the invite, which was obtained by The Huffington Post. "Congressman Westmoreland's involvement in an informal working group and his work on the Intel Committee proved he was one of the most knowledgeable on the attacks, and our country is grateful to have him working alongside Chairman Trey Gowdy to uncover the truth of the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack on Benghazi, Libya."

Westmoreland has a history of deploying charged language against the president. In 2008, he called then-Sen. Obama and his wife Michelle "uppity," a word with an ugly racist history.

Westmoreland isn't the first Republican to use the investigation as an opportunity to rally key supporters. Much to the dismay of GOP leaders who are trying to avoid the appearance of partisanship in an investigation Democrats have repeatedly criticized as a "witch hunt." The National Republican Congressional Committee and the tea party both raised funds off the committee earlier this year, despite Chairman Trey Gowdy's (R-S.C.) admonition to do otherwise.

The South Carolina Republican, who previously said that Benghazi "transcends politics," told the New York Times earlier this month that the committee's work might not be completed before 2016 -- fueling further allegations by Democrats that the probe was designed to hinder a prospective presidential run by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Westmoreland pushed back against those suggestions in his remarks on Saturday.

“This is not a partisan witch hunt,” he said, according to the Daily Journal. “This is to find out the truth and just let us take the facts and let the facts lead us to the truth. So, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The committee will hold its first hearing next week.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Rep. Lynn Westmoreland attended a fundraiser. The event was a breakfast held by the Cobb County GOP. The article was also updated to include further remarks from the congressman about the nature of the investigation.



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