Following Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sending a critical letter to the chief of the Office of Government Ethics demanding an interview over the director’s comments on President-elect Donald Trump, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded in kind, referencing one of Trump’s campaign promises.
Noting that Chaffetz’s actions were “outrageous” and highlighting how House Republicans tried to gut the OGE before they “were even sworn into office,” Earnest said that this showed the GOP wasn’t trying to drain the swamp.
“Well this is the completion of the Congressional Republican swamp-filling hat trick,” the press sec stated.
Earnest called out Chaffetz for trying to intimidate the man who is doing the job that the outgoing press secretary feels Chaffetz should be doing.
“And now, to complete the hat trick, you’ve got the Republican Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee— the individual who, as much as anyone else in the United States Congress, is charged with providing oversight of the executive branch — now seeking to intimidate a senior executive branch official who is responsible for enforcing ethics rules,” Earnest pointed out. “He’s threatening to shut down the office of the guy who is doing the job that Jason Chaffetz himself is refusing to do. It’s outrageous.”
Chaffetz’s letter this week came on the heels of OGE chief Walter Shaub’s speech following Trump’s press conference. In his remarks, Shaub stated that Trump’s plans on separating himself from his businesses weren’t nearly sufficient enough to avoid conflicts of interest. During the presser, Trump and his lawyer provided details on how Trump will hand off his business interests to his two grown sons.
[image via screengrab]