‘Do Your Job!’: Rep. Jason Chaffetz Faces Angry Town Hall Crowd in Utah

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz faced a chorus of boos in his home state of Utah, clashing with a hostile town hall audience over his role in investigating President Donald Trump's conflicts of interest, the environment and funding for Planned Parenthood.

Constituents jeered Chaffetz, who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, over what they saw as his failure to examine potential conflicts of interests between Trump's private businesses and executive role.

"You're really not going to like this part: The President, under the law, is exempt from the conflict of interest laws," Chaffetz told one questioner.

Videos from the event posted on social media showed the crowd erupting into chants of "do your job," in response to that answer.

Chaffertz repeatedly pleaded "hold on," and "give me a second" as he was drowned out by shouting.

Hundreds of people stood outside the auditorium holding signs and chanting "vote him out," while one woman was arrested.

Chaffetz also faced opposition when he said that he hoped Trump would repeal the newly-named Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, which some present feared would lead to drilling and mining on the land.

He did manage to elicit at least one positive reaction from the crowd when he said Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was "wrong, wrong, wrong," to have promoted Ivanka Trump's clothing line during an appearance on Fox News this week.

Chaffetz was not the only one to face hostile crowds on Thursday, with Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) also having a stormy meeting with constituents in her home state at an event held by Middle Tennessee State University College Republicans.

A video posted on social media showed Black facing a chorus of boos as she was escorted out after the event.

Liberal groups have been urging their supporters to flock to Republican lawmakers' town hall events, to register their opposition to a whole host of policy initiatives, but in particular the GOP's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Some Republican lawmakers have reportedly cancelled planned town hall events to avoid being confronted by constituents. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) called off an event scheduled to be held in April, with a spokesperson telling local media in his district that "liberal activists" planned to turn the event into "a disruptive show for their own political theater."

AP

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, yet he has been unwilling to perform oversight on President Trump’s numerous conflicts of interest. On Thursday night, his constituents appeared at a town hall meeting to demand that he start looking into them.

After being asked why he wasn’t investigating Trump’s tax returns, the crowd began chanting “Do your job!” at the beleaguered congressman. This was most likely a reference to how Chaffetz, by his own admission, allowed his first meeting with Trump to be conducted on the president’s terms, who opened it by demanding that they not discuss oversight on any of his financial matters. Chaffetz has instead promised to continue his investigations on Hillary Clinton.

There were other issues over which Chaffetz was grilled. A young girl asked the Republican about his plans to protect the air and water and the crowd booed when he replied that supports an all-of-the-above energy strategy, which includes mining for coal. https://twitter.com/ericbradner/status/829873005312421889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Chaffetz was booed so often that he repeatedly found himself saying “Hold on” and “Give me a second” when trying to answer the audience’s questions. Ultimately Chaffetz left the rally 40 minutes early.

Outside the high school auditorium where the event was being held, protesters chanted “Vote him out!” One woman was arrested.


‘DO YOUR JOB!’: Crowd repeatedly shouts down House Oversight chairman in raucous town hall meeting

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican head of the House Oversight Committee, faced a rowdy audience during a town-hall meeting near Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday night.

Chaffetz, who represents Utah’s 3rd congressional district, took questions on several topics inside a high school auditorium that was filled to capacity, several media outlets reported.

Attendees challenged him on Obamacare, energy policy, and Planned Parenthood — but the audience grew increasingly restless and raucous whenever the discussion turned toward recent controversies roiling the White House.

Chaffetz, who famously grilled former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in hearings over her use of a private email server, was grilled by angry constituents Thursday night. Some of them asked why he had not challenged President Donald Trump’s alleged conflicts of interest surrounding his private business empire.

One woman in the audience asked Chaffetz, “Where do you draw the line?”

“Everyone has to comply with the law,” Chaffetz said. “You’re really not going to like this part. The president under the law is exempt from the conflict of interest laws.”

The crowd booed and began chanting, “Do your job.”

Here’s a crowd outside the event chanting “Your last term.”
The meeting happened on the same day Chaffetz rebuked White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump’s retail products during a Fox News interview, potentially violating government ethics rules.

While protesters outside the event held signs blasting Chaffetz, people inside repeatedly shouted him down, forcing Chaffetz several times to plead with the crowd to come to order. CNN correspondent Kyung Lah said in a tweet that the mood in the room was one of “anger and frustration.”

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