After BP executives arrived at the White House shortly before 10 a.m. ET, President Obama immediately sat down in the Oval Office for a private meeting with BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg — who emerged from the shadows today to a very public role.
You can watch our World News report here:
The president told him, according to sources, "While you have concerns about your shareholders and the viability of your company, we have concerns about our shareholders — fisherman, shrimpers and small business owners."
After the private meeting, the president joined the other executives — including controversial CEO Tony Hayward — and White House officials in the Roosevelt Room where the president said he needed to "ensure you guys aren't going to run away from your responsibility."
The president soon returned to the Oval Office.
The meeting was described as "cordial" and like any other business negotiation. After roughly an hour and a half, the president was briefed on the situation and he provided instruction to his team. That happened again roughly an hour later. The meeting lasted for more than four hours.
– Jake Tapper