Axelrod Denies Participating in Counter-Terror Discussions
The communications director of President Obama's reelection campaign today denied a report in the New York Times that he had sat in on weekly White House meetings on terrorism.
On Tuesday the paper said that after the failed 2009 Christmas Day "underwear bombing," David Axelrod started attending the discussions with Obama and top national security advisers. The article reads:
"David Axelrod, the president's closest political adviser, began showing up at the 'Terror Tuesday' meetings, his unspeaking presence a visible reminder of what everyone understood: a successful attack would overwhelm the president's other aspirations and achievements."
Today on CBS' "Face the Nation," Axelrod steadfastly denied the claim, telling host Bob Schieffer that he was "flat out asserting that that is not true."
"There were meetings," he said. "I know there were weekly meetings dealing with terrorist threats and planning around it, but I did not attend those meetings."
At the time of the attempted attack, Axelrod was serving as the top political adviser inside the administration. Some conservatives had said the report appeared to be evidence that the White House was actively merging national security issues and partisan politics.
Schieffer noted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., had voiced similar concerns.
"Let me allay his concerns, Bob, because that's not true," Axelrod said.
The meetings in question have been the focus of heightened media scrutiny in recent days, as new information surfaces over the difficult, direct, and tense role the president has assumed in counter-terror operations. Included in the new revelations is Obama's oversight of the "Kill List," a global roster of terror suspects considered candidates for targeted strikes.