The White House said Wednesday that an alleged exchange between President Barack Obama and a House Republican — relayed to the public by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) — “did not happen.”
Durbin recounted over the weekend that a House Republican told Obama at a recent closed-door meeting that he “cannot even stand to look at” him. But White House spokesman Jay Carney said during his daily press briefing that, after touching base with a participant in the meeting, Durbin’s account is not right.
“It did not happen,” Carney said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) each said they had no recollection of the exchange at the meeting.
Update: Boehner’s spokesman Brendan Buck released a statement following the press briefing calling on Durbin to retract the claim and apologize. “Senator Durbin’s accusation is a serious one, and it appears to have been invented out of thin air,” Buck said. “The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize.”