Republican House Judiciary Committee Member Matt Gaetz said Monday that it is a "joke" that the GOP leadership is "only now getting to [getting testimony from] James Comey."

Gaetz said the Republicans have been apprehensive about ordering Comey to appear as part of an investigation into the beginnings of the Trump-Russia probe because it would interfere with the "economic message" they wanted to spread prior to the election.

He said that the election results, in which the Republicans lost the House and saw a few Senate seats flip in both partisan directions, prove that a positive economic message alone could not draw the support needed to keep control of Congress.

Gaetz said Congress' handling of Comey, the Clinton email scandal and questions about the legitimacy of the Russia investigation was one of the most "low-energy oversights" and "one of the reasons we lost the majority."

"We didn't move fast enough," he said, adding that there is only a little over a week's worth of Congressional working days before the Christmas break. 

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"We're only now getting to James Comey, what a joke."

Gaetz said he, Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.), Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) were among the very few people that were pressuring outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) to focus more on Comey and related witnesses.

Comey said recently that though his testimony will be in a private setting, he successfully lobbied the committee to release a transcript within a day's time and allow him to speak freely after his hearing.

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