Speaker John Boehner’s office is demanding an apology from Sen. Dick Durbin for his Facebook allegation that an anonymous GOP House leader told President Obama during a meeting amid the government shutdown, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”
Boehner’s office is pointing out that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday — in response to a question from The New York Times — has said of the incident, “It did not happen.”
“Senator Durbin’s accusation is a serious one, and it appears to have been invented out of thin air,” said a Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, in a statement.
Buck added, “The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize.”
There was no immediate response from Durbin’s office. As the majority whip, the Illinois senator is the second-ranking Democratic leader in the Senate.
Durbin, in posting the remark Sunday, argued that such a remark made to the president — by a House Republican leader — made negotiations even more difficult.
“Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn’t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you,’ ” wrote Durbin.
“What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?” Durbin’s posting asked.
What We're Following See More »
Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.