[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/08/art.valerie1208.gi.jpg caption="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."