Chaffetz: McCarthy's Benghazi comments 'absolutely inappropriate'

Chaffetz: McCarthy's Benghazi comments 'absolutely inappropriate'
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Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzHouse Oversight slams TSA after report says officials 'interfered' in disciplinary case Gowdy steps down from Ethics Committee, citing 'challenging workload' Criminal referrals by members of Congress raise procedural questions 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 ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) 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 AmashOvernight Defense: House votes to renew surveillance program | More drones, troops headed to Afghanistan | Former officers urge lawmakers to curb Trump's nuclear powers Overnight Tech: House votes to reauthorize surveillance powers | Twitter on defensive after Project Veritas video | Senate panel to hold hearing on bitcoin Overnight Cybersecurity: House votes to renew NSA spying | Trump tweets spark confusion | Signs Russian hackers are targeting Olympics | Bannon expected to appear before House Intel panel 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 BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ohio) departs.