from FoxNews.com –
The White House is denying reports an adviser threatened famed Watergate journalist Bob Woodward after the Washington Post reporter challenged President Obama’s version of events on the looming sequester.
Woodward claimed Wednesday night that a White House aide sent him an email saying he would “regret” his comments. The aide was not identified, but an official familiar with the exchange told Fox News it was National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling. That was after Woodward wrote a column this past weekend claiming Obama was trying to re-write history — regarding not only whose idea the sequester was, but also how it would take effect.
Woodward wrote that based on his reporting earlier in the budget battle, the president was trying to move the goalposts by trying to replace the sequester with a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts — instead of solely spending cuts.
After Politico reported late Wednesday that Woodward was coming forward to claim he was threatened, a White House aide denied the claim.
“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.”
According to Politico, Woodward said he was “yelled at” by an Obama aide over his weekend column in the Post. Then, he said he received a page-long email from the aide — apparently Sperling — that said: “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. … You’re focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
Animosity between Woodward and the Obama team is rising, as the journalist has repeatedly needled the administration on its sequester talking points. His reporting bolstered claims that the sequester idea originated at the White House. And this week, he called the administration’s handling of the cuts “madness.”
Former Obama adviser David Plouffe tweeted Wednesday: “Watching Woodward last 2 days is like imagining my idol Mike Schmidt facing live pitching again. Perfection gained once is rarely repeated.”
Fox News’ Ed Henry contributed to this report.
Bob Woodward Says W.H. Staffer Told Him He Would ‘Regret’ Sequester Comment
The Washington Times – By Cheryl K. Chumley
The White House is denying one of its staffers threatened Watergate iconic writer Bob Woodward — the latest in a tiff that hit public airways earlier this week, when the author characterized President Obama’s actions on the sequester as madness.
Mr. Woodward, a journalist for The Washington Post, said Wednesday on MSNBC that Mr. Obama’s threat to halt military deployments due to looming budget cuts was “madness.”
Prior, according to Politico, Mr. Woodward had called and advised a senior White House official of his intent to raise public questions about Mr. Obama’s sequester statements — during which the aide “yelled at me for about a half hour,” he said. And on Wednesday evening, Fox News reports, Mr. Woodward said that the aide also sent him a threatening email, saying he would “regret” his comments.
Politico reported Thursday that the senior White House official on the email exchange is Gene Sperling, economic adviser to the president.
The White House is denying an aide threatened Mr. Woodward.
The White House wrote in an email to Fox News: “Of course no threat was intended. As Mr. Woodward noted, the email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices 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.”
Mr. Woodward wasn’t the only one threatened by the White House, it appears. Former Clinton-era administration adviser Lanny Davis said similarly.
In an exclusive WMAL radio interview, Mr. Davis said he had received similar threats about opinion pieces he wrote for The Washington Times.