Woodward claims White House threatened him

by Jonathan Easley - The Hill  |  published on February 28, 2013

Bob Woodward said Wednesday that a “very senior person” at the White House told the veteran journalist and author “you will regret” faulting the Obama administration for the present fight over sequestration.

“It was said very clearly: ‘you will regret doing this,’” Woodward said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “I’m not going to say [who], a very senior person. It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters you’re going to regret doing something you believe in.”

In an op-ed published over the weekend, Woodward accused the Obama administration first of inventing the sequester, and then of “moving the goal posts” by saying any deal had to include new revenue along with the agreed-upon spending cuts.

Democrats argue that the sequester was an last-ditch effort out from the 2011 debt-ceiling fight instigated by Republicans, and that because it was never meant to be implemented, it’s not moving the goal posts to try and replace it with spending cuts and additional revenue.

“I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communications strategy, let’s hope it’s not a strategy, but just a tactic he’s employing, he’d say, ‘look, we don’t go around trying to say to reporters if you in an honest way present something that we don’t like, you’re going to regret this,’” Woodward continued. “It’s Mickey Mouse.”

A White House official said Woodward misconstrued the exchange and that “no threat was intended.”

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