Trump Told Chaffetz Not To Talk Oversight In Oval Office Meeting

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah speaks to reporters as he leaves a House Republican Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Chaffetz, himself a candidate for the speaker's post, said he'd back... Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah speaks to reporters as he leaves a House Republican Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Chaffetz, himself a candidate for the speaker's post, said he'd back Ryan should he seek the job, adding, "I would hope that he would do it." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) MORE LESS
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This post has been updated.

President Donald Trump met with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, on Tuesday at the White House, but the two did not discuss oversight at the request of the President.

“Before my bum even hit the chair, the president said, ‘No oversight. You can’t talk about anything that has to do with oversight,'” Chaffetz told reporters following his meeting with Trump, according to Politico.

They did not discuss oversight of the Trump administration or investigations into Hillary Clinton, Chaffetz said.

The oversight chair said that he may talk to Trump about oversight at a later time.

“At the appropriate time, perhaps [I will], but while we have ongoing investigations that’s not what I was there to talk to the president about,” Chaffetz said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Instead, the two talked about Chaffetz’s legislative priorities, like changing the U.S. Postal Service, ramping up embassy security abroad, and and reforming the federal civil service, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Chaffetz did say that when he spoke with Trump at the Republican retreat in Philadelphia last month, the President did not try to deter him from conducting oversight.

“He was the one who said proactively, feel free to investigate anything you want. That’s your job, that’s your role,” Chaffetz told reporters, according to Politico. “He is not going to put a heavy hand in one direction nor the other. We have a job to do and we’re going to do it.”

The oversight chairman has so far declined to say whether he will launch an investigation into Trump. In January, before Trump took office, Chaffetz said that he would not go on a “fishing expedition” when asked about the President’s potential conflicts of interest. Later that month, after Trump was inaugurated, Chaffetz did request a copy of Trump’s D.C. hotel lease. Democrats and ethics experts have said that Trump violated his lease, which states that an elected official cannot benefit from the hotel.

Chaffetz told reporters that he had received a copy of Trump’s hotel lease and that he would like to know whether the General Services Administration believes Trump can be both tenant and landlord, according to The Hill.

But the oversight chairman indicated that he would not pursue investigations into Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.

“The Democrats can flail and complain and run around with their heads cut off. The reality is he’s exempt from this,” Chaffetz said, referring to conflict of interest laws, according to The Hill. “It would have to rise to a very high level for us to [target Trump].”

The congressman said that his committee will instead focus on how Trump “administers the government, how those government dollars are spent,” per The Hill.

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Notable Replies

  1. A couple of quick thoughts: “Oversight” is beyond Trump’s intellectual horizon. And keeping Chaffetz from talking about it is a good way to shut him up. Which is not a bad thing.

  2. I keep reaching for the remote to change the channel. This movie is neither plausible nor entertaining.

  3. Trump to Chaffetz: feel free to investigate anything you want

    Of course.

  4. Avatar for mames5 mames5 says:

    What are they trying to do to the post office now? It is a public service, not a for-profit enterprise. If it loses money, then charge a buck a stamp…still a lot cheaper than paying FedEX or someone six bucks to deliver a card to granny out in the middle of nowhere.

    These a$$#0!es don’t have any concept of doing what is right for the people of their districts or this country–and no, I am not just realizing that, I am just astonished that they keep targeting these types of entities–public schools, the post office, what next?

  5. Of course no oversight. What kind of self dealing traitorous sexual predator would ever want a spotlight shined on his activities?

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