He 'ought to be careful': Trump chief of staff issues stern warning to 'extremely political' government ethics watchdog

Reince Priebus blasted Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub on "This Week" after he dubbed Trump's attempts to separate himself from his business interests this week "wholly inadequate."

"The head of the government ethics ought to be careful, because that person is becoming extremely political," Priebus said.

The incoming chief of staff incorrectly alleged that Shaub supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election — Republicans accused Shaub of partisanship for refusing to criticize Clinton's public speaking fees. Priebus also praised Rep. Jason Chaffetz for last week summoning Shaub to Capitol Hill to address his public criticism of Trump's actions.

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Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee stands at the main podium as he previews the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. on July 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus (R) address supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S. on November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon (L) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
US President Donald Trump chats with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus while watching Super Bowl LI at Trump International Golf Club Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 5, 2017. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus arrive for a joing press conference by US President Donald Trump and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the East Room of the White House on February 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (C) as Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R) looks onat election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 21 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) talks to RNC Chair Reince Priebus at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus gavels the convention to order at the start of the first session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
US President Donald Trump holds an executive memorandum on defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House on January 28, 2017, in Washington, DC. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway (3rd L) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (2nd L) joined Trump. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 7: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus listens during a meeting with county sheriffs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (R), US Vice President Mike Pence (C) and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner watch from the Rose Garden as Marine One carrying US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka takes off from the White House in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2017. Trump flew to Dover Air Force Base for arrival of remains of a US commando killed William 'Ryan' Owens early January 29, in Yemen during a raid on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff-elect, from left, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, and Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, dine at Jean Georges Restaurant in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Congressional Republicans are considering a lightning-strike rollback of Obamacare early next year to kick off the Trump era, but first they have to agree on a plan limited enough to hold their caucus together. Photographer: John Angelillo/Pool via Bloomberg
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus hold his hand over his heart for the U.S. Naitonal Anthem at the start of the first session of the at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (L) and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon walk as they depart the White House, accompanying U.S. President Donald Trump for a trip to South Carolina and Florida, in Washington, U.S., February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (R) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (2ndL) arrive for a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 02: (AFP OUT) White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus attends a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and executives and union representatives from the Harley Davidson company at the White House on February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. At the end of the photo opportunity, Trump said 'nothing is off the table' in relation to current disagreements between the U.S. and Iran. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (R) looks on as President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office of the White House, January 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. On Saturday, President Trump is making several phone calls with world leaders from Japan, Germany, Russia, France and Australia. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28: (L to R) White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus speaks with White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in the Oval Office of the White House, January 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. On Saturday, President Trump is making several phone calls with world leaders from Japan, Germany, Russia, France and Australia. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 20: Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, is seen on the West Front of the Capitol after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, January 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, and wife Sally Priebus arrive for the 58th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States today, in a celebration of American unity for a country that is anything but unified. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus is escorted by Madeleine Westerhaut as he arrives for meetings with US President-elect Donald Trump December 28, 2016 at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump and Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, embrace during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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"I'm not so sure what this person at Government Ethics, what sort of standing he has anymore in giving these opinions. I think Jason Chaffetz was correct to call for an investigation into the Government Ethics Department in the government for the positions that they've taken in this campaign," Priebus said.

Trump attempted during a press conference last week to address concerns about potential conflicts, announcing he would hand over control of his businesses to his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr, and promised that his businesses would not pursue any foreign deals while Trump is in office.

But top ethics officials have argued that the president-elect's continued ownership of businesses abroad is a potential violation of the US constitution, as it could allow foreign entities to curry favor with the president-elect by pumping money or favors into his businesses.

Shaub, whose organization is the primary independent government watchdog that monitors the executive branch for potential conflicts of interest, has drawn criticism from Republicans over his outspoken skepticism that Trump has done enough to disentangle himself from conflicts of interest.

"The plans that the president has announced doesn't meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting, that every president in the past four decades has met," Shaub said last week at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC.

He continued: "Stepping back from running his positions is meaningless from a conflicts of interest perspective. The presidency is a full time job, and he would've had to step back anyway. The idea of setting up a trust to hold his operating business adds nothing to the equation. This is not a blind trust, it's not even close."

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