Chaffetz: McCarthy's Benghazi comments 'absolutely inappropriate'

Chaffetz: McCarthy's Benghazi comments 'absolutely inappropriate'
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Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzIngraham’s ratings spike a wake-up for advertisers Boehner to campaign for House GOP candidates Americans want to protect public lands, Congress should listen MORE (R-Utah) said on Wednesday that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) went too far by linking the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Pompeo clears Senate panel, on track for confirmation | Retired officers oppose Haspel for CIA director | Iran, Syria on agenda for Macron visit George H.W. Bush in intensive care GOP chairmen say they have deal with Justice on documents MORE’s falling poll numbers.

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“[It is] an absolutely inappropriate statement,” Chaffetz told host Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room” Wednesday evening, saying McCarthy’s comment distracts from the committee’s work.

“That was not the reason we started,” Chaffetz added of the select committee. “We started because there were four dead Americans and we didn’t have answers.”

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee,” McCarthy told host Sean Hannity on Fox News’s “Hannity,” on Wednesday evening.

“What are her numbers today?” McCarthy asked. “Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable.”

“But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen,” the House majority leader added.

His comments drew bipartisan condemnation.

“I totally disagree with those comments,” Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashSome doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP McCarthy faces obstacles in Speaker bid House Freedom Caucus flexes muscle in Speaker's race MORE (R-Mich.) told CNN on Wednesday. “I think it should be a concern."

Multiple Democratic lawmakers and the White House have also criticized the remarks as partisan.

Clinton, meanwhile, on Wednesday called them “distressing,” given the Americans who died during the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

McCarthy is jockeying for the speakership position that is opening up later this month when Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk With Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election MORE (R-Ohio) departs.