December 8th, 2009
06:35 PM ET
3 months ago

Adviser: O.K. for Obama, Conyers to 'blow off a little steam'

Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett downplayed a report Tuesday that recounted a testy telephone call between the president and fellow Democrat Rep. John Conyers.
Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett downplayed a report Tuesday that recounted a testy telephone call between the president and fellow Democrat Rep. John Conyers.

Washington (CNN) - A senior White House official downplayed a report Tuesday that recounted a testy telephone call between President Obama and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers.

In an interview with CNN, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett said that Obama and Conyers have "the kind of relationship where they can call each other anytime" and "blow off a little steam."

Jarrett was responding to a question about a story published by The Hill that said Obama recently called Conyers to express frustration about the chairman's criticism of him.

"[Obama] called me and told me that he heard that I was demeaning him and I had to explain to him that it wasn't anything personal, it was an honest difference on the issues," the Michigan Democrat told The Hill. "And he said, 'Well, let's talk about it.'"

Conyers office would not comment on the exchange when contacted by CNN.

Jarrett told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Obama and Conyers are friends and that this is not a sign of the president losing support from some of his most loyal allies.

"I think they have the kind of relationship where they can call each other any time they want and talk about issues important to the two of them," Jarrett told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I don't think you should be distracted by that. I think you should be focused on what are the two men doing to work together. Nine times out of ten we're agreeing on issues, we're working constructively together. If once in a while they blow off a little steam and have some frustration, I think that's fine too."


Filed under: John Conyers • President Obama • Valerie Jarrett
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    Obama is a fraud. Ignorant and naive. But I guess Conyers isn't ready to admit that truth just yet.

    December 8, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Wow, an adult in the White House, who's response to differing opinions is to talk about it – cool! And a refreshing change from the Bush/Cheney "My way or you're an unpatriotic, godless, anti-American" approach.

    Keep up the good work, Mr. President!

    December 8, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. terry,va

    If anyone says anything about Obummie, he's on his bad list. Obummie you are the president not a dictator. This is America and not everyone agrees with you as evidenced by your 47% approval rating. This will soon be 40% as those that pay taxes will be against you.

    December 8, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. AJ

    Oh please, Obama is losing allies and supporters. It's unfortunate that the President of the United States feels the need to call a Congressman and cry about being criticized. The President needs to grow up and realize that half of the country disagrees with him on many issues. What an arrogant child.

    December 8, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. Woonsocket

    Maybe these two filthy thugs will beat the ever living crap out of each other. Their stench has ruined the quality of life in America.

    December 8, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Texas Longhorn talks Truth

    OH! Someone critisize the great saviour of his people. HOW COULD THAT BE. He is doing such a wonderful job. OH MY?

    December 8, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. m smith

    sound like they talked about it.

    December 8, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Conyors is a joke who still has the old mentality that Republicans need. Put him in the same boat as Michael Steele and be done with him,. The sooner we rid ourselves from the likes of these kind the better off the world will be and that's all the more reason to support President Obama, it's a new World.

    December 8, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. Stop the War

    Obama is at risk of being a one term President – he is already loathed by the right and he is really disappointing his base. Many are very upset that he is continuing the Bush wars, Shame on him.

    December 8, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  10. Jenette, GA

    The president has the right to have a private conversation with a member of Congress.

    December 8, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. TCM

    Jarrett is a thugette, just like Rodgers....all part of the Obama "Hood in the White House..." They have no room to speak for anyone.....or against anyone, especially Jarrett with her Olympic games land scheme....

    December 8, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  12. Fitz in Texas

    "In an interview with CNN, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett said that Obama and Conyers have "the kind of relationship where they can call each other anytime" and "blow off a little steam."

    Yeah, right....seems Obama was blowing off a lot of steam and Conyers was getting a lot of that steam blown at him.

    December 8, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. The idiot

    Two lying liberals upset with each other. Thieves trying to divvy up the loot they are stealing from the American taxpayer. Conyers should already be in jail, Obama is an impeachment waiting to happen.

    December 8, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. Carnell From The Motor City!

    That's Great! HypocriCNN Along With Its Amaturish Journalisnt Tactics Have To Quote Sources Outside Of Its Own. To Do Nothing More Than Instigate Drama And Create More Controvesy.

    December 8, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  15. Matt

    I wish that I could express my disappointment to Obama. I own a business and have seen how his agenda has affected my clients, as well as my business practices. Nobody can just 'do business' because the rules are changing weekly.

    I'd scold Obama.

    December 8, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  16. rachel

    Obama whining again about criticism.

    December 8, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |