Chaffetz: McCarthy's Benghazi comments 'absolutely inappropriate'

Chaffetz: McCarthy's Benghazi comments 'absolutely inappropriate'
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Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzHouse Dems seek to make officials feel the pain Lawmakers contemplate a tough political sell: Raising their pay Top Utah paper knocks Chaffetz as he mulls run for governor: ‘His political career should be over’ 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 ClintonNevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge 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 AmashHouse Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment Schumer declines to endorse Amash's comments on 'impeachable conduct' by Trump Amash won't rule out Libertarian challenge to Trump 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 BoehnerTrump adviser expected to leave White House, join Juul The Hill's 12:30 Report: McGahn inflames Dem divisions on impeachment Amash storm hits Capitol Hill MORE (R-Ohio) departs.