During an appearance on CNN on Tuesday morning, the incoming Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee balked at endorsing Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination after being asked about more government documents that were taken illegally and held in a Florida storage facility.
Sitting down with "CNN This Morning" co-host Kaitlan Collins, Rep James Comer (R-KY) uncomfortably addressed the new allegations when pressed by the host.
"From what I read, I think his people found the documents and notified the archives or whomever," Comer parried when asked about the report. "So I don't want to -- certainly not going to defend the indefensible or anything but at the end of the day, obviously anyone in Congress should be concerned about the storage of classified documents."
"But it is frustrating for me to have jurisdiction over the National Archives and I have no idea what type of documents we're talking about," he continued. "Classified can be a wide range of variations, so we don't know -- just on the surface of things, it would obviously be concerning."
Asked about Trump as the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nominee, he carefully begged off without directly criticizing the former president.
"You condemned the former president's dinner with a prominent anti-semite," Collins began. "This week he suggested terminating the Constitution. This week his candidate in Georgia lost. Putting all of those things together do you think he's still the right leader for the Republican Party?"
"I believe we have a deep bench in the Republican Party," he attempted. "The former president is popular in my home state of Kentucky, obviously. I think he did a lot of good things, policies during his four years, but at the end of the day we're going to have a primary."
"There are a lot of candidates that have expressed an interest and it's early so I think it's too early to speculate on who will be the front runner or who will be the Republican nominee in 2024," he added.
"So you're not prepared to say that you'll endorse him for president or anything like that?" the CNN host pressed.
"No. I'm staying out of the presidential election," Comer replied. "We're focused on taking over the Oversight Committee. We have no shortage of oversight demands in this building so that's going to be my focus over the next few months."
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