Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) on Monday inadvertently implied that House Republicans’ high-profile investigation into President Joe Biden’s family members and their finances is actually about helping Donald Trump win the presidency in 2024.
Comer, who is leading the GOP’s probe as chair of the House oversight and accountability committee, appeared to say the quiet part out loud during a “Fox & Friends First” interview.
“We have talked to you about this on the show, about how the media can just not ignore this any longer. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, it says, ‘Millions Flowed to Biden Family Members. Don’t Pretend It Doesn’t Matter,’” said the show’s host, Ashley Strohmier, referring to a piece last week by conservative columnist Jim Geraghty. “So do you think that because of your investigation, that is what’s moved this needle with the media?”
“Absolutely. There’s no question,” Comer replied. “You look at the polling, and right now Donald Trump is 7 points ahead of Joe Biden and trending upward, Joe Biden’s trending downward. And I believe that the media is looking around, scratching their head, and they’re realizing that the American people are keeping up with our investigation.”
Comer’s apparent moment of candor is reminiscent of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s memorable gaffe in 2015, when he admitted the GOP’s Benghazi committee was created to hurt Hillary Clinton in the polls ahead of the 2016 election, as opposed to being any kind of substantive investigation.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee ― what are her numbers today?” McCarthy told Fox News at the time. “Her numbers are dropping, why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened.”
Here’s a video clip of Comer’s seeming slip-up, around the 7:20 mark.
During Monday’s interview, Comer claimed that Biden’s family members have received money from foreign nationals, saying “that’s what we’ve proven” with the GOP’s probe.
But in reality, despite House Republicans’ efforts to portray Biden as hopelessly corrupt, the committee didn’t present any evidence in its hearings that directly implicated Biden.
Comer also misrepresented the state of presidential polling in his interview. His claim that Trump has a 7-point edge over Biden stems from an ABC News/Washington Post survey released earlier this month. Other surveys, however, show Biden leading, and the overall polling picture indicates a tight race between Biden and Trump.
In particular, polling shows little indication that House GOP investigations of Biden’s family are driving the president’s political standing downward. While Biden’s approval rating remains underwater, scattered surveys of the public show little indication that the Comer-led investigations have had a major effect one way or another.
Surveys from earlier this year, conducted by both nonpartisan and Democratic firms, found that most voters thought Republicans were putting too much effort into investigating the president.