Yesterday House Speaker John Boehner made a curious claim regarding the National Republican Congressional Committee’s efforts to raise money off an investigation of the Benghazi attacks.
“Listen, I’m involved in this investigation, I’m not involved in what goes on at the campaign committee,” he said. “All I know is we’re trying to get the truth here, and I’ve got to believe the Democrats are probably fundraising off of Benghazi just like we are … I don’t know what the fundraising arm is doing.” (The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has denied ever fundraising off Benghazi.)
His remarks, delivered in a speech before the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce on Monday, were the latest in what looks to be a long dodge. After the NRCC first invited donors to become a “Benghazi Watchdog” by giving anywhere from $25 to $500, Boehner repeatedly ducked questions from reporters about it. Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who will lead the investigation, has similarly sought distance: “I have never sought to raise a single penny on the backs of four murdered Americans,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Imagine Boehner’s surprise then, when on Tuesday the NRCC sent out a fundraising email using his name, as HuffPost‘s Sam Stein noted earlier today.
Day after Boehner says he’s not involved in what goes on at NRCC, the NRCC sends out fundraising email in his name pic.twitter.com/4ygde8UjMh— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) May 13, 2014
Is that what Boehner means by uninvolved in what the campaign committee is doing? He may have an argument if he pays no attention to their messaging. In an email Tuesday, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel explained it thusly: “The Speaker does not determine the NRCC’s specific strategy or tactics. Obviously, he is involved in trying to help the House Republican team.”
Got that? It doesn’t matter what the email says, only that it’s from the NRCC. It also gives you some idea of just how little adding Boehner’s name, or any other, means.
What We're Following See More »
"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."