"Look at the polling": James Comer brags that GOP's Biden crusade is boosting Trump's numbers

The interview was reminiscent of Kevin McCarthy’s 2015 Benghazi gaffe about Hillary Clinton

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published May 22, 2023 4:03PM (EDT)

Full committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) attends a House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations and Federal Workforce hearing on Capitol Hill May 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Full committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) attends a House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations and Federal Workforce hearing on Capitol Hill May 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., bragged that the House Republicans' investigation into President Joe Biden and his family is boosting former President Donald Trump in the polls.

Comer provided a telling response when Fox host Ashley Strohmier asked about the probe of Biden family finances. 

"We have to talk about this and we've talked about this on the show, about how the media cannot ignore this any longer," said Strohmier. "In an op-ed in The Washington Post says millions flow to Biden family members, don't pretend is doesn't matter. Do you think because of your investigation that moved this needle with the media?"

"Absolutely. Absolutely. There's no question," Comer replied. "You look at the polling, and right now Donald Trump is seven 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 the American people are keeping up with our investigation. And they realize there's something wrong here. It's not normal for the President of the United States' children and grandchildren and in-laws and nieces and nephews to receive wires from foreign nationals. That's what we've proven."

Comer's remark harkens back to Rep. Kevin McCarthy's, R-Calif., 2015 gaffe in which the future House Speaker was too explicit in detailing how the Benghazi investigations would hurt then-candidate Hillary Clinton at the polls. 

"Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" McCarthy said, speaking to Fox News in 2015.  "But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought."

In a separate recent interview, CNN's Pamela Brown asked Comer if he and the committee had "found anything illegal while he [President Biden] was actually in office."

"Well, we found a lot that's certainly unethical. We found a lot that should be illegal — the line is blurry," Comer replied.

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Even some Fox News hosts have questioned the lack of evidence that has come out of the probe despite Republicans' touting allegations of corruption against the president's family.

"You don't actually have any facts to that point," host Steve Doocy said to Comer during a "Fox and Friends" interview earlier this month.

"You've got some circumstantial evidence," Doocy continued. "And the other thing is, of all those names, the one person who didn't profit is — there's no evidence that Joe Biden did anything illegally," he added.

"You know it's bad when you've lost Fox," tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., after the interview.

Comer drew mockery last week after claiming that the so-called "informant" that provided evidence to the committee was missing.

"Well, unfortunately, we can't track down the informant," Comer said. "We're hopeful that the informant is still there. The whistleblower knows the informant. The whistleblower is very credible."

Comer insisted that "no president has ever been accused of the things that the Biden family's been accused of."

"Hold on a second, congressman. Did you just say that the whistleblower or the informant is now missing?" host Maria Bartiromo asked.

"Well, we're hopeful that we can find the informant," Comer responded. "Remember, these informants are kind of in the spy business, so they don't make a habit of being seen a lot or being high profile or anything like that."

Comer added that nine of the 10 informants "that we've identified that have very good knowledge with respect to the Bidens, they're one of three things. They're either currently in court, they're currently in jail, or they're currently missing."

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Gabriella Ferrigine is a staff writer at Salon. Originally from the Jersey Shore, she moved to New York City in 2016 to attend Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies. Formerly a staff writer at NowThis News, she has an M.A. in Magazine Journalism from NYU and was previously a news fellow at Salon.

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