Rep. Lynn Westmoreland joined Donald Trump Monday in claiming The New York Times is trying to "absolve" Hillary Clinton of any blame for the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya to make it easier for her to run for president in 2016.
"I don't know why they put it out, unless it was for political reasons," the Georgia Republican said on "Fox & Friends," referring to a Times report over the weekend
claiming that al-Qaida and other terrorist groups weren't responsible for the attack.
The Times also reported, as the Obama administration initially claimed, that an American-made anti-Muslim video was partly responsible for setting off the violent outbreak in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.
Westmoreland suggested the report is aimed at "laying the groundwork" for a presidential run by former Secretary of State Clinton, who Republicans blame for the lax security in Benghazi.
"This thing is eventually going to fall back on the State Department, when all the truth gets out there. Of course, Secretary Clinton was in charge at the time," Westmoreland said.
"I think they're just . . . trying to absolve her from the lack of security that was sent over there, the number of requests for security that was turned down. So, I think they're just trying to take the pressure off her and the administration," he added.
Earlier on "Fox & Friends," Trump all but accused the Times of trying to help cover up what actually happened the night of the attack in Benghazi to make it easier for Clinton to make another run for the White House.
Westmoreland continued to maintain that the anti-Islam video "never came into play" in the Benghazi bombing, saying that watching a video "doesn't give you instructions on how to shoot five mortar rounds."
"If you go to some of the research, or the people that study these media, social media outlets, and stuff, there was nothing even on the radar in Libya or in Benghazi actually until the next morning," he said, referring to some reports the video may have spurred a crowd to form and then attack the U.S. compound.
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