White House claims they didn’t threaten Woodward

| February 28, 2013

The other day, Washington Post journalist, Bob Woodward, confirmed that the sequestration idea came from the White House. Soon after, he claims he was threatened in email by an administration aide that he would come to regret his comments. Now, the White House says that’s not true, that they didn’t threaten him, according to Fox News;

After Politico reported tonight that Woodward was coming forward to claim he was threatened, a White House emailed Fox and other news organizations, denying Woodward was threatened.

“Of course no threat was intended,” wrote the White House aide. “As Mr. Woodward noted, the email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices being raised in their previous conversation. The note suggested that Mr. Woodward would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more. And Mr. Woodward responded to this aide’s email in a friendly manner.”

Of course, given other White House comments recently, this confirms to me that they did indeed threaten Woodward. And since the Left told me that Woodward had to be believed throughout the Bush Administration, I have no choice but to believe Woodward now. Do I?

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden

Comments (22)

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  1. NR Pax says:

    They keep forgetting that unlike the past decades, information travels very quickly.

  2. NHSparky says:

    Now, the White House says that’s not true, that they didn’t threaten him, according to Fox News;

    Whereupon Bob releases the e-mail, complete with headers and IP tracing showing that it came from the White House on a .gov server.

    Dear Obots–define “overreach.”

  3. docstew says:

    Didn’t Carney basically admit the sequester came from the WH? Didn’t O say in 2011 that he would veto anything to stop it? Why are they denying it now?

  4. Old Tanker says:

    Love him or hate him, I don’t think anyone is going to intimidate Bob Woodward…these WH staffers really don’t understand who they’re messing with…

  5. Hondo says:

    Old Tanker: I agree. Anyone who would face down Nixon and his cronies won’t be intimidated by anyone in this Administration. And at this point in his life, Woodward’s protecting his legacy – which is based on his integrity and on “getting it right”. He’s not about to back down.

  6. Fen says:

    @4 I think these WH staffers have fallen to hubris – which makes me wonder how many times they have pulled this stunt on “lesser” reporters and gotten away with it.

  7. Typical Chicago thug mentality of this administration. Threaten, hide, shred, deny. Only 3 more years…

  8. OWB says:

    Have often not agreed with Woodward politically, but have NEVER questioned his integrity. It is that integrity that brought down one prez. Could it happen a second time? This could get interesting.

  9. Hondo says:

    OWB: depends. Think we could convince Woodward to do an in-depth look at Fast & Furious, or the DoE “green” grants?

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    For just a tiny moment there, I had a flashback to the 1970s.

    What goes around, comes around. Deja vu, that sort of thing.

  11. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @5 Indeed one might disagree with his politics, but he’s proven himself a rather tough adversary over the years. I do find it humorous that we saw the left touting all Woodward’s efforts from 2001-2009, but not so much over the last four years….that’s the problem with the dems, anything that threatens their power is an enemy even if that enemy has been a friend for years prior.

    Republicans have done little to effectively counter any of this however, and it appears they are doing more of the same (very little) currently. It would be a good time to have a few press conferences to explain their positions, I still think the Republicans are missing a key moment to get to those folks who still believe in the promise of America to understand why the Democrats are the heroin of the political process, they seduce you into a cocoon of dependency and then you can’t get out.

  12. UpNorth says:

    Then there is this, from Fox News, “The aide was not identified, but an official familiar with the exchange told Fox News it was National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling”. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/28/white-house-denies-staffer-threatened-watergate-journalist-woodward/
    Yeah, I don’t think that Woodward is all that intimidated by the metrosexuals in the White House.

  13. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “Of course no threat was intended….” Was intended? That’s a curious way to put a denial. Intent is an element of some crimes but, in the main, if you did or said what was claimed, then intent either doesn’t matter or can be inferred.

  14. David says:

    Of course no threat was ‘intended’… it just sorta came out like that. He didn’t intend to say ‘Guido and da boyz is gonna breaka you legs’…it just slipped out.

  15. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @13 it might have been implied instead of intended….kind of like selling weapons to drug cartels, “We did not intend to track the weapons, and clearly in light of the outcome the implication is that we were also unable or unwilling to do so….” like that…

    See how easy it is once you understand Democratese? It’s like when they say, “I intend to take full responsibility” because the unspoken implication is that there is no consequence for doing so….

    “You will regret the comments regarding sequester”

    It might not our intent to f$ck you over this, but the implication is we will anyhow.

  16. Common Sense says:

    Obama and the White House remind me of the old Star Trek episode with “Harcourt Fenton Mudd” and his fembots when they get all confused by saying “everything he says is a lie”.

  17. obsidian says:

    Obama inc. has come to a narrow place.
    Democrats and liberals need to know that for the vision and the ideology everyone is expendable.

    At the narrow passage, there are no brother’s and no friends.
    >Arab proverb<

  18. PintoNag says:

    Journalists are a strange bunch.

    It’s news when it happens to someone else. It’s BY GOD THE REAL DEAL!!! when it happens to them.

  19. Anonymous says:

    @2: Politico does have the e-mails:


    They’re pretty tame, and for those who don’t want to read the whole thing, this -being Woodward’s reply to Sperling- is hardly indicative of feeling ‘threatened’:

    “Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today. Best, Bob”

    If anything, this isn’t the WH (or liberals) over-reaching, it’s conservatives doing that in their effort to make this into a big thing. Unsurprisingly, people sometimes feel strongly about things that someone else takes a different perspective on. News at 11?

  20. Anonymous says:

    And now, even the Daily Caller is admitting they got ‘played’ and this isn’t what it seemed to be:


  21. Hondo says:

    Obviously Anonymous (19, 20): you appear to be unfamiliar with the concepts of (1) a veiled threat and (2) plausible deniability. Both are often used by those in power to convey a message to those with whom they are “displeased”.

    Example: “Make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

    You also seem to be unfamiliar with the fact that neither “The Daily Caller” nor “Politico” are unbiased sources – they’re as left-leaning these days as the rest of the MSM.

  22. Anonymous says:

    @21: I’m quite familiar with both, actually – and if you’ve read the e-mails and still feel that’s a threat, we can respectfully disagree, but if you haven’t yet read them, I encourage you to do so. My honest read -not a partisan thing, as I’m fairly independent politically- is that two people had a conversation where one doesn’t understand the other’s point of view, got frustrated, raised his voice, and apologized.

    Is it possible this is some Machiavellian scheme, carefully orchestrated to threaten Woodward on orders from the nefarious President while cloaking it in language that seems friendly, honest and apologetic? Sure. But for me, Occam’s Razor says it’s probably just exactly what it appears to be – an honest, heated disagreement by people with different viewpoints.

    As for the sources I listed, Politico is fairly center, though if you wish to argue it leans liberal, fine. The Daily Caller though? It’s widely considered a conservative (and libertarian) news source.

    At any rate, my reply was simply to link the actual e-mails (according to Politico) and to add that, at first read, they don’t seem nearly as damning as the headlines want them to be.