'I cannot even stand to look at you'

McClatchy Washington BureauOctober 23, 2013 

First Republicans got mad when they saw Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin's Facebook post: "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.'

"What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?"

But, said Republicans, that didn't happen.

"Senator Durbin's accusation is a serious one, and it appears to have been invented out of thin air," said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. " So the question was posed to White House Spokesman Jay Carney. "I looked into this and spoke with somebody who was in that meeting, and it did not happen," Carney said.

He was asked if anyone from the White House spoke to Durbin.

"I don't know," Carney said. "My understanding is that, again, from a participant in the meeting, that that didn't happen. "

Durbin stood firm. "Senator Durbin stands by his comments," said spokesman Max Gleischman.

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