By CNN's Gregory Wallace
A U.S. congressman barred from visiting Afghanistan over the weekend minced no words when characterizing the incident.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai is a "corrupt prima donna," House Foreign Affairs Committee member Dana Rohrabacher of California said in an interview Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room."
Rohrabacher was en route to Kabul with five other members of Congress to meet with representatives of the Northern Alliance when the U.S. secretaries of Defense and State intervened.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called to say "that she'd been through a lot of mini-crises there in Afghanistan with the burning of the Qurans and the soldiers urinating on these dead bodies and one of them going crazy and killing civilians," Rohrabacher told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
"She just felt that another mini-crisis which might erupt," he continued, "because Karzai hated me so much that he would create a crisis and she just thought it would be disruptive to our ability to get her job done."
But Clinton is charged with executing diplomacy, and Rohrabacher is not.
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"I thought she was asking me in a respectful way, but she was having to deal with this corrupt prima donna who heads that country," he said.
As chairman of the House Foreign Affairs' Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, Rohrabacher said he suspects his examination of how U.S. funds have been spent in the war-torn country was a factor in Karzai's discomfort.
More than 1,800 U.S. service members have died in the country, according to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Central Command. The United States has nearly 90,000 troops serving in the country and spends more than $2 billion on efforts there every week.
Rohrabacher's scrutiny of the country's government was the reason for his visit.
"Members of Congress should be over there to see if the dynamics are such that we're not just wasting people's lives and money, and there are changes that need to happen for us to be able to succeed," he said.
The U.S. State Department confirmed that Clinton and Rohrabacher spoke, and that both Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta requested Rohrabacher not continue with the delegation.
"We were advised, as Congressman Rohrabacher made clear, that the sovereign government didn't think this visit was timely. So it was in that context that he made his decision after our advice," Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman, told reporters.
The congressman said he encouraged his colleagues to continue on the trip, as "we had leaders of the northern alliance, opposition members and political leaders in that country who wanted to talk to American congressmen to make sure that we were not going to leave the Taliban in charge of Afghanistan."
Republic Rep. Louis Gohmert of Texas, who led the delegation to Afghanistan, invited Rohrabacher after another lawmaker dropped out of the trip.
It is not the first time Rohrabacher has earned the ire of a leader.
In June 2011, Rohrabacher led a congressional delegation to Baghdad that was ordered out of the country by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki after the California congressman said Iraq should consider repaying the United States for what it spent since 2003.
- CNN’s Adam Levine contributed to this report