Politics & Government

Gowdy on Congress: "I hate this place."

Now on his way out of Congress, Trey Gowdy is letting on how reluctant he has been in his tenure representing South Carolina's 4th District in Congress, an unhappiness that goes all the way back to the beginning.

“I hate this place,” the D.C. newspaper Roll Call quotes Gowdy as telling a GOP strategist shortly after taking office in 2011. “I want to go home.”

In January, Gowdy said he would not run for a fifth term this year, closing out eight years in the U.S. House that saw the former Spartanburg prosecutor take a high profile in investigations of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but, recently, has seen the Republican take differing positions from some of his GOP colleagues.

Since announcing his retirement, Gowdy has poured cold water on some Republican criticism of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's campaign ties to Russia. Gowdy also has broken with GOP efforts to conclude the House's Russia probe, saying Russian interference in the 2016 election was meant to undermine Clinton and benefit Trump.

At the same time, Gowdy has been able to maintain his conservative reputation, partly because of his work chairing the Benghazi investigation that hounded Clinton for much of the 2016 campaign.

“He worked really hard to make it nonpartisan,” former U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a fellow South Carolinian who now is the White House budget director, told Roll Call.

“But looking back, it will probably be remembered as one of the most partisan things he did in Congress, and I think that really disappoints him.”