In her new book chronicling the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton took a swipe at Jason Chaffetz, the former Republican representative from Utah and House Oversight Committee chairman, who she said she mistook for President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
Clinton recalled shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries with Chaffetz, who relentlessly pursued investigations into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state and the circumstances surrounding a terrorist attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, as she left Trump’s inauguration ceremony in Washington.
“I saw a man off to the side who I thought was Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee and incoming White House Chief of Staff,” Clinton wrote in “What Happened.” “As I passed by, we shook hands and exchanged small talk. Later I realised it hadn’t been Priebus at all. It was Jason Chaffetz, the then-Utah Congressman and wannabe Javert who made endless political hay out of my emails and the 2012 tragedy in Benghazi, Libya.”
Chaffetz later posted a photo on Instagram of his handshake with Clinton, writing, “So pleased she is not the President. I thanked her for her service and wished her luck. The investigation continues.”
The post was criticised online by those who felt the comment was petty and ungracious.
At the time, Brian Fallon, a former Clinton campaign spokesman, retweeted Chaffetz’s post, calling the congressman’s remark “subhuman.”
Apparently Clinton had considered responding to Chaffetz, too.
“What a class act!” Clinton wrote. “I came this close to tweeting back, ‘To be honest, thought you were Reince.'”
The former congressman, now a Fox News contributor, responded to Clinton’s comment in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune earlier this week.
“That would be a first, nobody has ever, ever thought I was Reince Priebus … Ralph Macchio, yes; Reince Priebus, never,” he said, referring to the “Karate Kid” and “My Cousin Vinny” actor.
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