Boy, talk about legitimizing a book that the White House had already dismissed as tripe.
Usually the official approach is to ignore these kinds of claims so they go away faster, but now I’m wondering if Robert Gibbs, Valerie Jarrett, et al, are getting royalties for vouching for the book’s veracity:
Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs apologized Monday for insulting First Lady Michelle Obama during an explosive staff meeting where he also laid into Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. The scene is recounted in a new book, “The Obamas,” by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor. Jarrett said the two have “worked through disagreements.”
“In any high-pressure work environment there are occasional arguments and disagreements and that is certainly true of the White House. I regret speaking in anger and regret that this disagreement became so public. But those moments pale in comparison to the important issues facing our country and will not overshadow the vital work Valerie and I will do together as part of a team in 2012,” Gibbs said in a statement.
Said Jarrett in a statement, “Since 2004, Robert Gibbs and I have worked together on campaigns and in the government, and he has been a valued advisor and Press Secretary to this President and a key member of the Obama team. Like any colleagues, we’ve shared some laughs and we’ve shared some words over the years. But we have always worked through any disagreements out of mutual respect and in our shared commitment now and in the future to President Obama.”
Oh well… Robert Gibbs always did refer to the New York Times as if it were an extension of the White House press office, so maybe he figured a denial of claims in a book written by one of their reporters would have been counterproductive. After all, this year, Team Obama is going to need the NYT on board more than ever.