Vice President Joe Biden's team is pushing back on a POLITICO report that Biden himself, while eyeing a presidential bid, leaked an account of his dying son's wish that he seek the Democratic nomination.
"The bottom line on the POLITICO story is that it is categorically false and the characterization is offensive," said a spokesperson for Biden.
The vice president's office is neither confirming nor denying that a conversation took place between New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and the vice president, but sources say the paper is flatly wrong to suggest that Biden intended the leak to be a trial balloon for his candidacy.
The piece published Tuesday morning cited "multiple sources" confirming that Biden related the story of his son Beau's deathbed plea in a conversation with Dowd, who reported it in an Aug. 1 column in the newspaper.
"Beau was losing his nouns and the right side of his face was partially paralyzed," Dowd wrote. "But he had a mission: He tried to make his father promise to run, arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values."
POLITICO wrote Tuesday that Biden's conversation with Dowd meant that the vice president "effectively placed an ad in The New York Times" inviting donors and potential political supporters to reach out to him.
This article first appeared on NBCNews.com.