*Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) alleged this weekend that a top House Republican leader told President Barack Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you” during negotiations over the government shutdown.
Durbin made the charge in a Facebook post Sunday, according to a report in The Huffington 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,” he wrote. “What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?”
Durbin did not offer any additional details as to who made the remark or when the meeting occurred, and a spokesman declined further comment.
It remains unclear to what Durbin was referring. During the shutdown, Obama met with congressional leaders from both parties, a delegation of House Republicans, House Democrats, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans, all in separate meetings.
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), called on Durbin to back up his allegation. “Senator Durbin’s accusation is a serious one, and it appears to have been invented out of thin air. The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize.”
As for the White House’s response, press secretary Jay Carney said at Wednesday’s briefing that the incident never happened.