Wagner accuses Durbin of making 'bogus allegation'
Update: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., today removed the Facebook post that included what he said was a insulting remark made by a Republican leader about the president. According to Politico, "The White House says the error stemmed from a 'miscommunication'.”
Original story: U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, has jumped into the controversy over the weekend’s public assertion by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that a House Republican leader told President Barack Obama during a White House meeting that "I cannot even stand to look at you."
Wagner on Wednesday called on Durbin to “retract this bogus allegation immediately and apologize to the American people.”
Durbin made his accusation on television and on Facebook over the weekend, although he declined to identify the Republican making the remark.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters during a briefing this week that he was unaware of such a statement, saying “I spoke with somebody who was in that meeting and it did not happen.”
Durbin’s staff has yet to reply to several requests for comment from the Beacon, but a spokesman for the senator has told other news outlets that Durbin "stands by his comments."
On his Facebook page, Durbin wrote:
"Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a 'negotiation' meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: 'I cannot even stand to look at you. '"
Durbin continued, "What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?"
Wagner said in her statement: “Sen. Durbin’s accusation against House Republican leaders is not only outrageous, but a blatant falsehood as well.The senior senator from Illinois should either disclose his source or retract this bogus allegation immediately and apologize for lying to the American people. The American people are tired of these partisan attacks, and they just want Congress to work together and get the job done.”