Washington (CNN) – Pennsylvania Senate candidate Joe Sestak and a close aide to President Obama both dodged pointed questions Monday about whether White House officials pressed Sestak to drop his Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter in exhange for an administration job.
Sestak defeated Specter in last Tuesday's primary, but three months ago, when he faced longer odds against his Democratic opponent and his backers in the administration, the Philadelphia-area congressman said that someone in the White House offered him a job on the condition that he quit the race.
Sestak has refused to reveal any more details about the job offer - a pattern he continued Monday in an interview on CNN's "John King USA."
"I will let others speak for themselves," Sestak said when asked whom he talked to at the White House. "You and I should be talking right now about how people are slammed in this economy."
"I have said all I am going to say on the matter," Sestak said when asked again, insisting that he has explained his role in the matter "with integrity."
The congressman said he had to end the interview so he could vote on the House floor.
White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod told King earlier in the show that if White House officials offered Sestak a job in exchange for abandoning the Senate race, it would constitute "a serious breach of the law."
But he said unnamed White House lawyers "looked into" the talks between White House officials and Sestak. "And their conclusion was that it was perfect, the conversations were perfectly appropriate," Axelrod said, adding that he "was not a party to the conversations."
Pressed on the matter, Axelrod would not say whether the White House planned to reveal which officials had conservations with Sestak.