Tags: woodward | white | house | threat

Woodward: White House Threatened Me Over Attacks on Budget

Wednesday, 27 Feb 2013 09:00 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Newspaper editor and book author Bob Woodward said on Wednesday that a senior White House official threatened him for suggesting the President was at fault for the sequestration crisis.

Woodward said a "very senior" White House official warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this” — referring to the legendary journalist's criticisms of the Obama administration over its actions regarding the upcoming sequester.

“It was said very clearly, ‘You will regret doing this,’” Woodward told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday night, who then asked him who sent the email. “I’m not going to say. It was a very senior person.

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“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters that you are going to regret doing something that you believe in — and even if you don’t look at it that way [as a threat], you do look at it,” he said.

Woodward, an associate editor for The Washington Post, began stirring controversy last Friday when he lambasted Obama in an op-ed piece for not taking responsibility for the sequester itself.

In his article, Woodward claimed that the White House, not Republicans, first proposed the sequester.

Woodward wrote: "My extensive reporting for my book 'The Price of Politics' shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of [Jack] Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.”

He also blamed the White House for “moving the goal posts” in the negotiations with Congress on the sequester by now demanding that increased revenues be part of any deal to avert the $85 billion in cuts scheduled to take place on Friday.

And earlier on Wednesday, Woodward slammed as “madness” Obama’s decision to not deploy the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf earlier this month — also because of the impending cuts.

Blitzer said the Obama administration declined an invitation to debate Woodward on his Wednesday program.

“It’s irrefutable,” Woodward said of the circumstances leading to his “goal posts” accusation. “That’s exactly what happened. I’m not saying that this moving of the goal posts is some criminal act. I’m just saying that’s what happened.

“They are not happy at all — and some people have said, ‘Look, we don’t see eye to eye on this,’” Woodward added. “They haven’t really said that this is falsely wrong.”

He added, “I think they’re confused on the issue.”

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