House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Sunday that he's bluntly told his Republican colleagues to stop talking about the committee's proceedings.

"I have told my own Republican colleagues and friends, shut up talking about things that you don't know anything about," he said on CBS's Face the Nation.

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Gowdy was forced to deliver that message to his own GOP colleagues after some have indicated they believe the committee's real aim is to disparage Hillary Clinton and hurt her chances of winning the Democratic nomination and the White House.

In September, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., noted that Clinton's poll numbers have been hurt since the committee began investigating her role in the 2012 attack against the U.S. consulate in Libya. Just last week, Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., said he thinks a "big part" of the investigation was to go after Clinton.

A former staffer on the committee also criticized it as political.

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