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White House security officials insist the briefing included the House speaker's office.


Boehner Left Out of Heads-Up on Iraq Troop Withdrawal

White House security officials insist the briefing included the House speaker’s office.

At the White House briefing Friday following the President’s announcement last week of a withdrawal date for U.S. troops in Iraq, top national security officials to President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took pains to emphasize that congressional leaders of both parties were briefed prior to the announcement.
But, it turns out, there was at least one Republican who did not get a call on Iraq: House Speaker John Boehner.  During the briefing by Obama’s Deputy National Security Advser Dennis McDonough and the Biden’s top National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, Politico’s correspondent Carrie Budoff Brown asked whether the President briefed any leaders of Congress prior to his decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq by the year’s end.
“We did brief members of Congress,” Blinken told Brown. “In fact, a number of us were on the phone with Senate and House leadership and other members to brief them on the President’s conversation with the prime minister [Maliki of Iraq] and to brief them on what the President intended to say.”
Asked in a follow-up question by Brown whether Boehner was included in those briefings, Blinken replied:  “I  believe so.  [T]he speaker’s office was on the call.”
But later in the session, Fox News correspondent Ed Henry suddenly announced to his colleagues: “Hey, guys.  Boehner’s office is saying they know of no effort to even contact his office.”
Blinken insisted that there “was a call that had many members of Congress on from both Houses, including leadership.  They were certainly invited.  We thought they were on.”
When HUMAN EVENTS later reached the speaker’s office, Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck told us that the matter was “certainly not a major controversy.  We have no interest bickering over a phone call.”  Pressed as to whether there was a call from the White House to Boehner, Buck replied: “No.”

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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