A GOP House leader told President Obama “I cannot even stand to look at you,” during negotiations to end the shutdown, according to a top senator.
A brief Facebook post from Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, described the incident in a brief statement Sunday that Politico pointed out:
Durbin did not elaborate further on the context of the remark. At least 20 House Republicans visited the White House during negotiations to end the shutdown, so it was not immediately obvious to whom Durbin was referring.
Both the White House and the Speaker’s office however, have disputed Durbin’s account.
During a press briefing Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters the incident “did not happen.” Brendan Buck, a spokesperson for Speaker John Boehner, sent out a statement saying Durbin’s account “appears to have been invented out of thin air,” and that “the senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize.”