Boehner Talks Clinton, Iran and Capitol Security Before Puckering Up for Reporters
(WASHINGTON) — With the Benghazi Select Committee’s investigation dragging on into the presidential campaign, House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday before reporters, criticized the Obama administration and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Wednesday for a lack of cooperation in the House’s investigation into the deadly Benghazi terrorist attacks on 9/11 in 2012.
Although Chairman Trey Gowdy has signaled that his committee’s report will not be issued until sometime next year, Boehner said the committee “is doing fine work” but has “a lot more work to do.”
“They could clean this up a whole lot quicker if the administration and … former Secretary Clinton were in a position to actually cooperate with the committee and turn over the kind of information that we’ve been seeking for some time, but the administration has made it virtually impossible to get to the facts surrounding Benghazi,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at a wide-ranging news conference on Capitol Hill. “And so when we have the facts, we’ll have a report.”
Asked whether the U.S. military’s ships in the Gulf of Aden should intercept Iranian ships, Boehner indicated an escalation is premature at this point.
“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Clearly we are assisting our allies who are involved in a struggle to keep the radical Houthis from taking control of all of Yemen. They’re clearly being supported by the Iranians,” Boehner said. “There’s a lot of speculation about what may or may not be on this Iranian convoy, but I think having our ships in place is the right thing to do. Hopefully their involvement will not be needed.”
Asked whether he has full confidence in the U.S. Capitol Police following a series of embarrassing security breaches, including a gyrocopter that landed less than 100 yards from his office, Boehner said the agency is “doing a very good job” given the difficult task it faces to protect the Capitol.
“You have to understand there’s always a balancing act that goes on with regard to the Capitol,” Boehner said. “This is the American people’s Capitol. It’s the symbol of the free world. And if you’ve noticed over the years, there’s open access to the Capitol. And, yeah, you could take more precautions, and what you’re doing is locking out the American people from their Capitol.”
Boehner also praised lawmakers who struck a deal on a bill to give the president fast-track Trade Promotion Authority.
“Trade is good for America,” he said. “It helps strengthen our economy, create more American jobs, and I applaud Chairman Ryan, Chairman Hatch, Ranking Member in the Senate, Mr. Wyden for the agreement that they have. This bill has a long way to go in both the House and the Senate, and I wish them well. We need to get this passed.”
At the close of Wednesday’s briefing, NBC’s Luke Russert asked the speaker about his widely publicized smooch with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the Rose Garden on Tuesday. As he walked off, the speaker smiled and puckered off a kiss towards Russert, but he did not respond verbally.
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