This post has been updated.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was the source of an anecdote Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) touted on Sunday, in which a House GOP leader allegedly told President Obama “I cannot even stand to look at you” earlier this month, the Huffington Post reported Thursday.
According to two Democratic senators and two Senate aides, Reid recounted the story to the Democratic caucus in a private meeting during the government shutdown fight. Reid reportedly learned of the remark from an unnamed White House aide. The Post’s sources were not in the meeting with Sessions and Obama.
According to the Post, the quote belonged to House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions (R-TX).
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote about the anecdote Sunday on Facebook, setting off a chain of denials about the incident on Wednesday.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the incident “did not happen.” Spokespersons for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) denied it was well. Durbin stood by his claim late Wednesday.
Sessions’ office denied that he directed the barb at Obama.
“He did not,” Sessions spokeswoman Torrie Miller told the Huffington Post Thursday. “I think it was made clear yesterday from Jay Carney that the exchange you are referring to did not happen.”