(CNN) – CNN's attempt to question Rep. Michele Bachmann about her claims that President Barack Obama is enjoying an over-the-top lifestyle were used by a fellow conservative Wednesday to sharply criticize the Minnesota Republican.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly - a vocal conservative - said Bachmann had made a "trivial mistake" in harping upon the so-called "perks" of the presidency, including a refuted claim that Obama employs a dog walker. Bachmann made the claims during her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week.
When CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash attempted to ask Bachmann about those claims, the lawmaker argued the questions were a distraction from the portion of her speech focused on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead in September.
"Dog handlers and there's four Americans killed?" Bachmann asked, before walking rapidly away from CNN's cameras down a hallway.
The backing Bachmann would provide for her charge the president is living a lavish White House lifestyle is a book, Presidential Perks Gone Royal, which itself doesn't provide specific sourcing.
"Michele Bachmann is playing small ball with the president, can't back up her criticism, and actually trivializes a huge problem, irresponsible spending by the federal government," O'Reilly said on his show Wednesday. "Two words: Not good."
"This would be much ado about nothing if not for the fact that trivial attacks on President Obama are obscuring serious problems in this country," O'Reilly added. "Does the president live well in the White House? Of course he does. Is there money wasted there? You bet there is. But every other president in history has lived that way."
"This is a trivial pursuit, and Michele Bachmann made a trivial mistake pursuing it," he continued.