(CNN) – White House press secretary Jay Carney Tuesday sharply rejected a statement that reportedly came from a senior White House official, who told a Washington news outlet that the president's recent charm offensive with Republicans "is a joke" and a waste of time.
"I have no idea who said that," Carney said. "But I can tell you that opinion has never been voiced in my presence, in the president's presence, in the West Wing. It does not represent the president's view, it does not represent the White House's view, and it does not represent the administration's view."
The comment was in response to a question from CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta, who pointed to the National Journal article written by Ron Fournier.
In the piece, Fournier looked into the motives of President Obama's recent and upcoming meetings with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In an unprecedented move, the president dined with 12 GOP senators last week and met with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan for lunch.
CNN also reported that Obama called Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Mark Kirk on Monday to talk about immigration and gun legislation.
Obama heads to Congress this week to meet with both parties in both chambers, starting with Senate Democrats on Tuesday.
Fournier questions whether the schmoozing is a genuine form of outreach or simply a chance to appear more bipartisan as his approval numbers took a small dip in recent weeks.
The article noted that some of Obama's advisers aren't so convinced the strategy will work.
"'This is a joke. We're wasting the president's time and ours," said a senior White House official who was promised anonymity so he could speak frankly. 'I hope you all (in the media) are happy because we're doing it for you.'"
The blunt quote represented a surprisingly frank viewpoint from a White House that has thus far described Obama's talks with Republicans as sincere. And Republican senators also described last week's dinner with Obama as "cordial," "genuine," "honest," and "interactive."
Asked if Carney has spoken with Obama about the motive behind the meetings, Carney defended the president, saying Obama was eager to "to engage with lawmakers of both parties in order to find common ground."
"The president is at the head of this effort because he believes deeply in it," Carney continued. "That comment again, I'm not sure who said, I have no idea, but it does not represent in any way the president's view or the views of this White House."
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, responded to Carney's comments.
"We certainly take Mr. Carney at his word, but the proof will be in the follow-through," Buck said.
– CNN's Jim Acosta and Dana Bash contributed to this report.