House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) insisted with a straight face on Tuesday afternoon that he never actually tied his committee's investigation into the Biden family to former President Donald Trump’s poll numbers.
Of course, just the day before, Comer literally said that “Donald Trump is seven points ahead” of President Joe Biden because the “American people are keeping up with our investigation.”
Comer, whose anti-Biden probe has so far come up short with “hard proof” tying Biden to any corruption, has even come under fire from Fox News recently over his inability to provide any evidence to back up his lofty promises of a grand criminal scheme involving the president. Additionally, Comer has come away with even more egg on his face after he claimed that one of his investigation’s informants had gone “missing.”
Appearing on Fox & Friends First early Monday morning, Comer asserted that he was making real progress in his investigation, prompting co-host Ashley Strohmier to note that a conservative columnist recently wrote that the mainstream press couldn’t ignore the probe any longer.
“So do you think that because of your investigation, that is what’s moved this needle with the media?” Strohmier asked.
“Absolutely. There’s no question. You look at the polling, and right now Donald Trump is seven points ahead of Joe Biden and trending upward,” Comer responded. “Joe Biden’s trending downward. And I believe that the media is looking around, scratching their head, and they’re realizing the American people are keeping up with our investigation.”
While Comer was referencing a recent outlier poll as most surveys suggest a tight race, his boast that investigating Biden was helping Trump’s numbers harkened back to then-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s 2015 comments about the Benghazi select committee.
In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, and while he was making his first run for the House speakership, McCarthy drew backlash from his GOP colleagues when he bragged to Fox News host Sean Hannity that the Benghazi probe’s purpose was to politically hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Of course, Clinton would soon be the Democratic presidential nominee.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee,” McCarthy said at the time. “What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable [sic]. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought.”
That moment ended up killing McCarthy’s speakership chances that year, likely prompting Comer to attempt some clean-up on Tuesday amid the growing criticism over his own remarks.
Towards the end of a friendly interview on Fox Business Network’s The Bottom Line, co-host Dagen McDowell brought up criticism from Democrats on the oversight committee, who’ve said Comer’s “comment tells the world that these wild-goose-chase probes are all about one thing: helping Donald Trump claw his way back into the White House.”
Co-host Sean Duffy, a former GOP congressman and longtime Trump acolyte, then teed Comer up by saying Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) “was concerned about Donald Trump’s low poll numbers” before claiming Comer was merely “concerned about the truth.” The Kentucky lawmaker, meanwhile, shamelessly claimed he never even mentioned Trump’s numbers on Monday.
“Look, when I was referencing poll numbers, it had nothing to do with Donald Trump,” he declared. “It had to do with the fact that the American people overwhelmingly believe that public corruption is a problem, and they’re concerned about how Joe Biden’s family got this money from foreign nationals, that’s what I was referencing in the polling, the polling shows the American people are keeping up with our investigation, it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.”
Besides Monday’s explicit link to Trump’s rising poll numbers against Biden, Comer has repeatedly tied his investigation to the political ramifications of the upcoming presidential election, as the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake recently noted. Furthermore, Comer has also acknowledged it would be more politically fraught for him to investigate Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner over his foreign business affairs.
Finally, this isn’t the first time that Comer has tried to deny he said something he clearly said. After lamenting that the president’s deceased son Beau Biden was never indicted over an investigation into illegal political contributions, Comer later claimed it was “a lie” that he ever made those comments.