Bob Woodward, legendary journalist from Watergate, claimed Wednesday that the Obama White House has threatened him about his recent reporting concerning sequestration. In a Feb. 27 report on Business Insider, Woodward disclosed an email that he received from an unnamed senior White House aide that told him that he would “regret doing this.” The White House aide in question has since been identified by Buzz Feed and confirmed by Politico to be Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council.
According to Business Insider, Woodward expressed his own discomfort with a White House that uses tactics like this with reporters:
“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘You’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,'” Woodward said.
Bob Woodward had phoned the White House as a courtesy to notify them that he had written an opinion piece in the Washington Post’s Sunday edition that would be refuting official White House statements. The White House senior aide yelled at Woodward for half an hour, according to Politico. The email sent was supposedly an apology for the yelling. Politico has the exact quote:
“I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today,” the official typed. “You’re focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
The yelling was about the opinion piece that Woodward wrote that reiterated the facts of sequestration that he had covered in his 2012 book, “The Price of Politics.” In it, he detailed the fact that the White House initiated sequestration despite their frequent claims that the process was invented by the Republicans in Congress. Woodward also accused the White House of “moving the goal posts” on the financial agreement with Congressional Republicans, now requiring a tax increase that was not included in the original agreement.
You can read more about Bob Woodward’s opinion piece here.