by Wynton Hall 6 Dec 2013 post a comment
Late Friday afternoon, Politico Magazine published an update dismantling White House claims that President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held “dozens” of unrecorded one-on-one working meetings over the last three-and-a-half years leading up to Obamacare's unveiling.
The update, written by Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer, refuted Friday comments by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
In a telling exchange between Carney and NBC News reporter Peter Alexander and ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, Carney claimed the GAI report showing one meeting between Obama and Sebelius since Obamacare’s signing was incorrect because it was based on spotty White House visitor logs. The problem, wrote Schweizer in the Politico Magazine update, is that the GAI report was not based on visitor logs; it was based on the White House’s own official calendar and was further verified by Politico’s comprehensive presidential calendar.
“Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday, ‘Cabinet secretaries don’t regularly get entered into the visitor logs.’ The GAI report was not based on visitor logs; it was based on the White House’s own calendar and the Politico presidential calendar,” wrote Schweizer.
Carney also claimed to reporters that Secretary Sebelius “is here a lot and meets with the President with regularity,” but he admitted he did not know how many one-on-one meetings Obama had with Sebelius.
If so, said Schweizer, “Why aren’t they listed? How many meetings took place and when did they occur?”
As Schweizer pointed out, “Obama’s calendar lists 277 one-on-one meetings between the President and his Cabinet Secretaries, including 73 with former Secretary Clinton and 57 with former Secretary Geithner.” Why not Sebelius? asked Schweizer.
The Politico Magazine update then posed the question at the heart of the controversy: “If Obama and Sebelius worked together closely and regularly, why did the President publicly state he did not know about the problems with Healthcare.gov?”
Schweizer says Obama must make good on his promises of transparency. "This is the most transparent Administration in history," Obama said previously.
Obama must level with Americans about "how much time President Obama personally spent over three-and-a-half years leading, managing, and working alongside Secretary Sebelius on his signature achievement,” wrote Schweizer.
The growing controversy places an already beleaguered Obama White House in an untenable political position. If, as HHS spokesperson Joanne Peters claimed late Friday, Obama had “dozens” of one-on-one working meetings with Sebelius, why did he promise in his roundly criticized November 14 press conference he was unaware of the serious problems with healthcare.gov that contractors had warned Sebelius of for months?
“I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as—the way it was supposed to,” said Obama. “Clearly, we and I did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website.”
And if, as the White House and Politico presidential calendars reveal, Obama held but one meeting with Sebelius in the three-and-a-half years of the Obamacare implementation, why was the President not “leading, managing, and working alongside Secretary Sebelius on his signature achievement,” asks Schweizer.
The Obama Administration has yet to produce a list of the "dozens" of dates and times it claims Obama and Sebelius spent working on Obamacare.
A recent CNN/ORC poll finds that 53% of Americans now believe Obama is not honest and trustworthy.