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February 28th, 2013
09:43 AM ET

Bob Woodward says he was threatened by White House

(CNN) — Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said Wednesday he was threatened by a senior Obama administration official following his reporting on the White House’s handling of the forced federal spending cuts set to take effect on Friday.

“They’re not happy at all,” he said on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” adding that an e-mail from a senior administration official — who he would not name — communicated a message which caused him great concern.

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soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. LT Burke

    As of today, June 5th, look at all the reportedls who have been targeted by Obama. believe
    IMr. Woodward. Be.iev you have a controlling autocratic Whiet House. Understamd the issues and this is bad for all of us....no matter what party affialtipn. is scaring the press:'Rosen at Fox was evaluated like a terrorist with pulled phone records and full investigation. Look at the AP reporters squashed. It too the Guardian to pull together to NSA story...track all the denials on CNN and their blind following of Obama...and you will be afraid. very afraid for freedom of the pres and now your computer, Facebook, telephone calls, Google soca, photos and the like...we are all on a potential S**t list if we speak against the Imperial Wizard of Ox....common folks, the emperors has no c
    Others and we ought to unmaske that. lone as individuals we have no chance...together we do. Wakey waked supposed press and investigate the news. Obama's henchman aren't that clever to eu you scared. stand and up and report the Facys. CNN and Fox; MCNBC is a lost cause...but NTTimes for for it...freedom of speech protects us little citiznds too!

    June 7, 2013 at 2:28 am |
    • LT Burke

      Scaring reporters by the White House is huge...it implies no future access to White House, drying up of sources, scared reporters who want to stand up but are afraid....and then the evil beltway spin doctors and techies who will track you down care of the DOJ and make your life a living hell. Worse than Bush. Band together, both left and right reporters, and REPORT without FEAR. Let the American public help you by defrocking the Wizard of Obama and let some cracks be exposed....we are all human and so far Obama has been an a robot. Too reliant on his back room tech boys slicing and dicing every vote, every samll sentiment....be a Man! be a President! take Accountability and move on....autos hong a president is an INSECURE Preaident...and right NW Albama ought to be scared a little...to on, press, give the full Monty of real journalism...if you DATE

      June 7, 2013 at 2:40 am |
  2. Chris Nelson

    Was Woodward threatened? He did not say so. But, guess what -- nobody cares. Nobody, that is, except the President's defenders, including the major media, who persist in using this non-issue as a smokescreen to obscure the real issue, which is the fact that Woodward exposed this President in a duplicitous lie for political purposes.

    March 2, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • TAP

      What ever. If the politicians can't truely charge obama with obstructionism they shouldn't even bother speaking at all. How pathetic for him to cry to the media about being silenced. Take it to the courts woodward.

      March 10, 2013 at 6:37 am |
  3. Mike Henry

    Oh, please! If this is all it takes to get Bob Woodwards shorts in a knot he has no business being a journalist. Of course, he can be a great journalist. So, there is another motive behind these hystrrionics – we just don't know what it is. Whatever it is, it does not serve him well.

    March 1, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Chris Nelson

      Another motive? Why of course, it's a vast right wing conspiracy!

      March 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
  4. Truth

    Bob Woodward said this in a Washington Post interview, published yesterday, titled, "Woodward vs. White House: Washington at its weirdest":

    "Woodward said he stands by the idea that Sperling’s language was over the line but stops short of suggesting outright intimidation. “I never characterized it as a ‘threat,’ ” he said. “I think that was Politico’s word. I said I think [Sperling’s] language is unfortunate, and I don’t think it’s the way to operate. . . . [Sperling’s] language speaks for itself. I don’t think that’s the way to operate."

    If CNN is serious about being a serious news source, it should do it's due diligence in the reporting of the rest of the story. Not to mention that in the wording of the sequester budget act, it says "deficit reduction" not spending cuts. Deficit reduction can be any combination of reducing expenditures or increasing revenues. The bill also clearly stated bill should provide the House and Senate instruction for advancing a Super Committee bill it included revenue.

    Please Mr. Blitzer, provide a more robust narrative. The viewers that still care what you say can follow the facts.

    Btw, let's be clear that threats do happen; and journalist know what those threat mean... access to the president. I'd argue that those threats are never articulated. Meaning that if a reporter continues to ask the wrong questions, or follow the wrong story, they will not be invited back to the White House. And this has been the status quo for multiple presidencies. I think this would be something worthy of reporting, if you and CNN have the stomach for it.

    March 1, 2013 at 4:48 am |
  5. John

    I wonder if anyone at CNN is going to do a FOIA request on the illegals released by Mr. Obama. Everyone is worried about cutting the growth rate not actually cutting the budget while possibly rapist were just released. See this is a dilema for everyone at CNN, even you Jake. If one of these guys rapes someone from your organization do you stay quiet for Obama. We know you won`t be able to stop it based upon your view on gun control. I say you will tell your daughter or wife you have to take one for the team. I know this sounds sick but based upon your reporting how could anyone think differently.

    March 1, 2013 at 3:28 am |
  6. desertcities

    I admire Mr. Woodward and love what he writes. But I believe he got his feathers a bit ruffled and perhaps some misunderstanding took place within the email sent to him. Folks, our wonderful country is unique in so many ways, yet we don't want to become a bankrupt country with strong austerity measures that you see us bankrupts. In one hand our President must work with a huge deficit, and on the other hand he is trying to save this country and push it forward, if even in small measures, to create jobs and provide health care to help us to get well, and to do better. And that takes a huge game plan with lots of guts and lots of smarts to pull off. Bob, you are fine, don't worry. Things look ugly, and it will take more than one coat of paint to get things looking sharp again. God Bless America.

    March 1, 2013 at 2:23 am |
  7. we225

    Is the great "Deep Throut Man" really afraid (or concerned as he put it) What does he think they are going to do to him?

    March 1, 2013 at 1:01 am |
  8. we225

    President Obamam should not give in one wit. Congress signed up fo sequester, and therefore should come up with a timely balanced plan to avoid it.

    March 1, 2013 at 12:54 am |
  9. Mary Guy

    I am sad that you still want to cover for Obama. The threat to Woodward was just that. As journalists you should find threats from the White House chilling. Get some courage, folks. The survival of our Republic depends on and independent press.

    February 28, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  10. Edina Kovacs

    Mr.Blitzer, a little perspective on Mr. Woodward and his activities. He wrote a book about the economic situation pre-election, and talked with Fareed Zakaria, saying that Romney would be better at handling the problems of it.
    Then again he came out with some statements. And now, appparently, the "White House" implicitly threatened him.
    I see this as part of the campaign, and the post-campaign, with the Republicans, or those who believe their ideas, continuing their obstructionism. It is very transaparent, and how he publiciczed the so-called threat!
    Someone should look into his allegations, his affiliations, and let's see what other ecomonists/strategists, etc. think about this series of actions he has taken.
    It is irresponsible of him to come out with a "threat" statement, and he is not doing any service to his country. He has an agenda, that's clear, and he is the Republican's "irrefutable expert voice, and now he tries to legitimize the validity of what he said by airing this Sensationlism about the white house. Maybe speaker Boehner should tell him to speak out of his mouth, rather than the other end he is sitting on. It is totally disgusting that Reps, and Congress are not doing their job, and that groups like the Norquist/No Taxation association can literally bribe/threaten politicans who seek to be elected, and the same can be said of the NRA.
    Is that Democaracy? The rule of the top of the pyramid putting things over on all the rest of the country?
    Shame on Mr. Woodward! And Mr. Zakaria, whose programs I very much enjoy, did see fit to bring Woodward and his pro-Romney message on to his show before the election. It'sdisappointing.
    Moreover, it is cycnical beyond belief, and uncaring for the country, all around. Elected officialsare not at their posts to only represent their district, but they are there for the whole country, too!

    February 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  11. Terry

    I just read the email... and Bob is nuts! The author was trying to keep Bob from embarrassing himself... too late!!

    February 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Eleanor

      Bob Woodward is a smart guy and doesn't need to lie. Nobody in the administration was trying to help him.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • we225

      Bob has been nuts for some rime now. Hope he gets better. We have enough parinoid people floating around, some wirh guns.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  12. rose macaskie

    Last night on The Situation Room somebody said that Obama had to look after the country, as in, he could not let this latest bit of budget soap opera go on. In the long term if Obama wants to look after the poeople he has to get very tough on the Republicans who wont let him look after the people, like by refusing to let them play with him by having talks that they know they will not allow to go anywhere in this brinksmanship game, so he goes of to talk to the people, someone has to try to undo the effects of the Koch brothers proganda campagn or at least properly explain the things tha the koch brothers campaign fails to cover, give a fair chance to the arguements of the other side atempt to balance things a bit. The Koch brothers and their like who have so much money to spill into programs to convince the elctorate of ideas tha tback up their interests, have manged to persuade people that they should look after bilionaires with tender lovign care at their own expense, has convinced everyone that that billionaires make jobs whether that is likely to be true or not it sounds sound enough so who will question it. They cant make jobs if the buyers are too poor to spend on their goods, even billionaires depend on people buying their products, so, so much for the billionaires being the ones to make jobs. And, on Ali Velshis today, a man from some sort of organisation for growth, though it sounded more like and organisation for an ever shrinking one percent, said, in relation to tax increases, that if you left people with their money and so able to expand or create their businesses, you got a healthy economy. That might be true if companies gains went back into the workers hands and their were lots of people with money in their pockets but if the only people with money to spend are the one percent, whose creativity with their money must be limited by their numbers, however creative a small group of peope are they will never equal the creativity of lots of people using their heads to start businesses it is not so important to leave the money in the hand of that one percent it is better to find ways to put it into more hands. In a, one percent with their hands on the money, society, leaving the money in their hands is not likely to increase growth as much as it would do in a more balanced society. Even the government has many more departments and projects and people trying to start growth, than any billionaire does, It is in the nature of a government to have lots of demands on their money that force them to adventure out in multiple ways while there is not much to force billionaires to venture out in many different directions. Obama needs, above anything else, to explain to the publick that the ideas of such as the koch brothers dont make much sense if they are taken too far if he is to look after the people. rose macaskie

    February 28, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • mary kirk

      I do believe Mr Woodwars's report of attempted intimidation by the Obama administration.The Obama administration attempted to damage former President Clinton's reputation to scuttle Hillary's 2008 primary campaign it worked, private citizen,Joe the OH plumber's private and confidential info was improperly released by a OH state official because he asked candidate Obama a question-sort of worked,the hallmark of the Obama administration has been to limit the press to parameters scripted by the Obama administration and has promoted dehumanizing demonizing of individuals and groups that do not parrot the Obama talking point agenda ie Tea Party,Chamber of Commerce,Church,NRA,FOX and CNN news...

      February 28, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

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