House Benghazi Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy is tearing into CNN for rushing to report on a fired committee staffer’s disputed claims about political bias on the committee. He says CNN never reached out to the committee for comment while preparing the disputed report.
Breitbart News reported this weekend that the Committee is hitting back at fired Republican-side committee staffer Major Bradley Podliska, who scored a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper to accuse the Gowdy-led investigative body of anti-Clinton bias. Podliska claimed that the committee fired him for not targeting Clinton. But the committee says otherwise. Actually, Podliska was fired for a number of reasons including targeting Clinton in an arbitrary non-factual manner that would have undermined the committee’s investigative efforts.
“One reason, among others, for which the employee was terminated was his repeated efforts, of his own volition, to develop and direct Committee resources to a PowerPoint ‘hit piece’ on members of the Obama Administration – including Secretary Clinton – that bore no relationship whatsoever to the Committee’s current investigative tone, focus or investigative plan,” the committee said in a statement.
Gowdy went even further Sunday with a statement accusing CNN of journalistic malpractice. Here are some highlights from Gowdy’s full statement:
Podliska changed his story and now wants money from the Committee:
One month ago, this staffer had a chance to bare his soul, and raise his claim this Committee was focused on Secretary Clinton in a legal document, not an interview, and he did not do it. Nor did he mention Secretary Clinton at any time during his counseling for deficient performance, when he was terminated, or via his first lawyer who withdrew from representing him. In fact, throughout the pendency of an ongoing legal mediation, which is set to conclude October 13, this staffer has not mentioned Secretary Clinton. But as this process prepares to wrap, he has demanded money from the Committee, the Committee has refused to pay him, and he has now run to the press with his new salacious allegations about Secretary Clinton.
Nobody told him to go after Clinton:
The record makes it clear not only did he mishandle classified information, he himself was focused on Clinton improperly and was instructed to stop, and that issues with his conduct were noted on the record as far back as April.
Because I do not know him, and cannot recall ever speaking to him, I can say for certain he was never instructed by me to focus on Clinton, nor would he be a credible person to speak on my behalf. I am equally confident his supervisor, General Chipman, did not direct him to focus on Clinton.
In fact, when this staffer requested interns do a project that focused on Clinton and the National Security Council, he was informed by the Committee’s deputy staff director his project was ‘not approved.’ This individual was hired as a former intelligence staffer to focus on intelligence, not the politics of White House talking points.
CNN didn’t try to get comment from Gowdy’s committee:
Had CNN contacted the Committee regarding its interview with this staffer before it rushed to air his sensationalistic and fabulist claims, it could have fully questioned him about his unsubstantiated claims. But that is the difference between journalism as practiced by CNN, and the fact-centric investigation being conducted by this Committee.