Rep. Jason Chaffetz:
Trump White House no better than Obama's about transparency
June 19, 2017
(NATIONAL) -- Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) during an interview with the Sinclair Broadcast group that aired over the weekend said he thinks the Donald Trump administration is no better about government transparency than the Obama administration.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the U.S. representative for Utah's 3rd congressional district.
Chaffetz handed over the House Oversight Committee gavel this month. He was asked by a Sinclair reporter, "Some people might think this is a great time to be a Republican chairman of an important committee because Republicans control the House, they're the majority in the Senate, and they hold the president's office. That means, you would think, that federal agencies can't stonewall investigations of spending, waste, fraud and abuse."
To that Chaffetz replied: "The reality is, sadly, I don't see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration. I thought there would be this, these floodgates would open up with all the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon. In many ways, it's almost worse because we're getting nothing, and that's terribly frustrating and, with all due respect, the attorney general has not changed at all. I find him to be worse than what I saw with Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. I just, that's my experience, and that's not what I expected."
Then there was this exchange:
Sinclair reporter: "Do Republican leaders have an appetite to do the kind of oversight that needs to be done?"
Chaffetz: "No, no. No, I mean the reality is there aren't very many people that want to play offense. There aren't many people who say, look, we have a duty and an obligation to fulfill the oversight responsibility that was put in place at the very founding of our country."
Reporter: "Just the way you describe it, it's troubling. Is Congress broken?"
Chaffetz: "Congress doesn't stand up for itself. I think it's, it's really lost its way. They say, oh, we'll use the power of the purse. That doesn't work. First of all, they never do cut funding. Even getting people to come up and testify before Congress, the Obama administration at the end of their term, they got so brazen they stopped sending people up. They just didn't care. And, and there was no way to enforce that, and until that changes, uh, the legislative branch is going to get weaker and weaker."
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