EXCLUSIVE — Richard Hanna’s New York Opponent: He’s Trashing Benghazi Committee to Get Democratic Support

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP

Republican New York Rep. Richard Hanna’s congressional opponent in his home state said that Hanna is criticizing the House Benghazi Committee in an effort to gain Democratic support when he runs for re-election or to earn a Hillary Clinton administration post if he doesn’t run for re-election.

New York Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney—who challenged Hanna in the New York 22nd district Republican primary in 2014 and might face off against him again in 2016—told Breitbart News that Hanna started criticizing the committee before it ever even began its investigative work, with nearly identical talking points to the ones he’s using now. And records reveal that Hanna was trying to sabotage the committee before it ever came into existence.

Hanna gained liberal mainstream media attention this week when he said, “This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton.” Richard Hanna made his remarks on Bill Keeler’s liberal-leaning New York radio program “Keeler In The Morning.”

But Tenney, who took 47 percent of the primary vote against Hanna when she ran against him, said that Hanna is just angling to appeal to pro-Clinton voters in the state that Clinton represented in the U.S. Senate.

“He’s trying to shore up more Democratic support in the event of a challenge next year,” Tenney told Breitbart News. “There will be higher voter turnout in a presidential election year, and he thinks that Hillary Clinton will be on the ballot as the Democratic nominee.”

Hanna started bashing the committee before it ever conducted its investigation.

“He made almost identical statements mocking the Benghazi Committee last year when I was running against him,” Tenney said. “When he made those comments, it was the day after the Ben Rhodes email had surfaced, showing that the Obama administration” changed its talking points to focus on a YouTube video. “He made a big thing out of it, saying, ‘it’s all a waste of time.'”

“He loves to get the attention of the media,” Tenney said, noting that Hanna might be trying to get a job in the Hillary Clinton administration if he does not run again in 2016.

Records reveal that Hanna held out on co-sponsoring the resolution to create the Benghazi Committee until Tenney started challenging him in his home district and cut a radio ad accusing him of not wanting to investigate Benghazi. Hanna was one of the last Republicans to co-sponsor House Resolution 36, finally signing on to the resolution on May 6, 2014, more than a year after it was introduced by Rep. Frank Wolf.


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