Exclusive: Woodward speaks out on White House threat
Administration attempts to discredit sequester reporting
- Duration 10:46
- Date Feb 28, 2013
Administration attempts to discredit sequester reporting
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-- -- -- a candidate now just a moment I will be joined by Bob Woodward for an exclusive interview about whether or not he feels he's being threatened by the Obama White House -- first here's the back story.
Now months ago Woodward being a veteran journalist in Washington.
Wrote the definitive book on the sequester and in recent weeks he's been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration.
For the very poor handling of the situation.
-- late yesterday Woodward revealed that a senior Obama advisor told them.
He would quote regret doing this -- the White House came out almost immediately denying this happen.
And Politico obtained the email exchange that was obviously leaked.
-- revealed that the senior White House official who -- this warning was none other than the president's economic advisor.
Gene Sperling now the email sent to Woodward on February the 22 reads in part quote.
I apologize for raising my voice and our conversation today my bad.
I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees.
That gives a very wrong perception of the forest.
But perhaps we'll just not see I die here but I do truly believe that you should rethink your comment about saying that Steve Potisk -- the president.
Asking for revenues is moving the goal post I know you may not believe this but as a friend I think you will regret staking out that claim.
How early today the White House briefing Jay Carney he put his liberal spin on all -- let's watch this.
-- -- Where it might regret it.
Part of what we're content.
Just get an it would be irresponsible thing to ask that question in the context of the Foley email since we know hopefully -- said we're Gene Sperling.
In keeping with the demeanor I've been familiar with from more than twenty years was incredibly respectful referred to mr.
Woodward -- friend.
And apologize for.
Raising his voice I think you cannot read those emails and come away with the impression that team was threatening anybody.
-- -- -- Carney are not the only members of team Obama to take a swipe at Bob Woodward over the past couple weeks last night former Obama advisor David -- tweeting quote.
Watching Woodward the last two days is like imagining my idol Mike Schmidt.
Facing live pitching again perfection -- once Israeli repeated.
Now folks let's remember who mr.
Now the Obama administration is trying to discredit the man who exposed the Watergate scandal in the 1970s that ultimately led to president Richard Nixon's resignation.
And this is the journalists that the Obama White House is now trying to discredit.
Now ultimately in the end I think the Obama administration.
They -- -- -- the ones who were regret picking this fight.
And joining me now with reaction is the author of the New York Times best seller the price of politics the one and only Bob Woodward Bob has always welcome back to a program.
Thank you let's start in the beginning.
Tell us about the conversation.
With Gene Sperling.
Yes yeah I mean maybe it was that he F file -- in which she was shouting at me now I've known him for twenty years tonight.
Emailed back I don't worry about shouts but.
He was really.
Worked up and and then he sent me that email apologizing.
And you know saying I'm gonna regret taking this stand now.
At were talking about here is not a -- he's not arguing with effect because before handy said we're just not gonna see I die on this.
It's an interpretation.
Obviously didn't like being challenged on this -- all.
And you know people have said the -- well this was a threat -- was saying it was that threat.
Having use that language but it.
It's not the way to operate.
In a White House it's not it is is you know when somebody says you gonna regret something particularly somebody.
In a position of power like Gene Sperling he's not just a guy in the White House he is the economic czar.
For the president he did the same thing.
For Bill Clinton had the same job so.
When you say you're going to regret challenging us.
I I just think that's a mistake and if you go back into the history and what other people are saying now about the Obama White House were run for gear of National Journal wrote a piece that he sexually refused to talk to somebody in the White House because the language he gets from.
This person is so belligerent.
Did you do you feel -- that's been a pattern -- view and this White House.
Did you feel at any time threaten either -- during the phone call or did you feel that it was a threat when he wrote the word you'll regret this.
The look what what happened here I wrote a piece Sunday in the Washington Post on the op Ed page.
And they got caught.
About being the father of the sequester.
And -- -- firm.
The -- two or three months denied that to -- two.
-- earnings credit he came out -- says look.
Yes the idea originated.
Here it's not only about who originated.
Did but think about what this sequester is.
If he is one of the most irresponsible.
Ideas and no Republicans signed up for this there's absolutely no question about it but you look at the -- -- of this and just that.
-- -- came about it's you and I sitting down and saying what are the things you really love let's Catan.
Pass a law cutting those things to ribbons and then let's take that things I.
Love and -- put that in the law will cut those two ribbons that's the sequester -- it the it is.
One of these things that's now being debated.
You know what is the impact of -- going to be we don't know obviously but.
They got caught in so this is an old.
Trick make the conduct did the press the issue rather than their conduct.
By the way I've been dealing with the -- -- in the liberal media.
-- I've got a lot of this over the course of my career Bob so.
A lot of you liberal colleagues.
I've noticed that turned on ya wanna get to that in a minute -- me this this is important.
I read your book cover to cover and I've now gone back and refer to -- a number of times.
And your book.
In many ways it's a double blow to President Obama book was number one it reveals the sequester idea was he is number two that he's lied about it -- lied about it in the debate.
With Mitt Romney and he's lied about it sense so you expose that and you also expose the idea of moving the -- -- As a president now requests tax increases associated with this.
Do you acknowledge do you think the president life.
Now I know I look.
I'm not gonna use words like that idea -- in I think we need to.
-- down the rhetoric here I'm in out in the great public.
Which is much more important than those of us for they -- me in Washington.
To say the police.
You know what the hell is going on here this is these people cannot talk to each other they can't make.
Protect the national security to I mean he -- he is.
I -- I thought about this a little bit.
The biggest story in Washington now is the town itself.
I agree with you raise this he is but calm and you know who know us where this goes.
-- what auto it is say about it because I -- you're standing by your reporting.
You're standing behind -- gallery it's not but that a bit but you're saying that it was Obama's idea that he claimed it's not.
You eat he said it was not so you're standing saying that he's not telling the truth and in other words and use whatever word you want.
And that he did move the goal posts they deny that and it was Jay Carney FT article came out in the post that said you were willfully wrong sounds to me well he's accusing you want it.
-- let let's look at this I spent two months from reporting.
And how they came to the sequestered this super committee work.
The White House.
Thought was really not been involved in this they monitored it I spent a long time infect a producer from sixty minutes.
Called me Evans said.
We understand when I was working on -- price of politics you're doing a book about the super committee and I said no it's just departments of what.
Everyone says you've got always notes you've talked to people you've got diaries.
His best as anyone can.
-- have the story of what happened here and it.
Came from the Obama White House it did is something designed.
To never go into effect it's gonna go into affect god help us.
That it does is not the spark.
Since the economy.
Down that bill because it is I'm in that.
People in business the people in politics that people outside of Washington.
Dumb founded and bewildered.
Why should it matter that if the president suggested the sequestration.
And then the president denied that he requested the sequestration.
And the president had to deal that he wasn't -- -- -- -- tax increases and then later does and says though that's not true.
And they attack you is well being willfully wrong why why should this matter I mean don't we deserve our government to be honest with us.
It exactly and I'm almost seventy years old I'd hate to acknowledge I've done this for four decades out.
Will keep doing it in some form.
Something they know the White House saying you've doing these things when you've -- -- son -- you have bid documents and that it Jay Carney actually acknowledged his paternity.
For the sequester.
From the White House.
The problem is they're all kinds of reporters.
Who were much less experienced who -- younger and if they're gonna get roughed up in this way.
And even I've.
Flooded with emails from people in the press saying this is exactly the -- hit the White House works they're trying to control and they don't want to be.
-- -- -- across I'd stay right there will continue we have more Bob Woodward on the other side also tonight.