The White House is denying Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin’s claim that a Republican leader disrespected President Barack Obama in a recent meeting by sniping, “I cannot even stand to look at you!”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday, "It didn't happen," leaving Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, to defend the accusation on his own, according to NBC News.
On Sunday, Durbin, the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate, took to Facebook to slam an unnamed “GOP House Leader” for making the remark during government-shutdown negotiations between Republicans and the president, The Hill reported
"Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans," Durbin said on Facebook. "But in a 'negotiation' meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: 'I cannot even stand to look at you.' "
"What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?" Durbin asked.
House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor both are demanding that Durbin name names or retract his allegation.
“(The allegation) appears to have been invented out of thin air,” said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck, adding that Durbin should apologize.
But Durbin spokesman Max Gleischman said his boss stands by his comments.
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