June 1st, 2010
07:07 PM ET
12 years ago

Gibbs declines to give more Sestak details

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/01/art.getty.robert.gibbs.jpg caption="Robert Gibbs declined to name what position was offered to Rep. Joe Sestak in an effort to dissuade him from challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate primary."]

(CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs declined Tuesday to name what position was offered to Pennsylvania Rep. Rep. Joe Sestak last year in an effort to dissuade him from launching a primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.

But Gibbs, whose comments come four days after the White House counsel's office released a memo stating no laws were broken during the communication with Sestak, suggested the position "didn't constitute a lot of what you're hearing."

According to the memo released Friday and authored by White House Counsel Bob Bauer, administration officials asked former President Bill Clinton to discuss with Sestak the possibility of serving on a high-level "Presidential or other Senior Executive Advisory Board" instead of challenging Specter. Bauer also made clear the position would have been unpaid.

After the memo was released Friday, Sestak told reporters, "I heard presidential board and I think it was Intel."

But that position - the President's Intelligence Advisory Board - would have forced Sestak to relinquish his House seat.

Asked to clarify what post was suggested to the congressman, Gibbs replied "I'd refer you to the memo."

A reporter then noted the memo didn't specify the exact position.

"Right," said Gibbs. "Thank you."

Sestak beat Specter in the May 18 Pennsylvania Democratic primary.

Filed under: Joe Sestak • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    The fact remains that the Obama Administration stepped in abusing their resources to try and give the American people less choice for who they vote on for the Senate. This administration came into power claiming they would fix Washington politics and instead made it uglier from day one. They have taken the American political process to new lows on a regular basis.

    June 1, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Karen

    Can Robert Gibbs just go away? He couldn't clarify anything!

    June 1, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Obama the liar

    i'm going to miss this twit

    June 1, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. ToughLove

    Anyone touting Obama's administration as any more ethical than Bush's is just a blind idealogue. This IS politics as usual...and we should all be sick of it, regardless of which side of the aisle on which the politician in question sits!

    June 1, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. rob

    We will see from this just how in bed the Media is with this admin. The decidedly liberal Media would never allow anything even close to the outright deception and arrogance from a Republican. The Media wants this to just go away, but it won't because of the "Cover up" thats going on.

    Journalism from traditional sources is dead in this country.

    June 1, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. rob elliott

    gibbs is such a phoney, where did the wh find him, cant take the heat luvs it when the press is sweet to him but ask any questions that are important he just gets very arogant, we know how to trust the wh lawyers right

    June 1, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Naqib


    Chicago Style!

    Change you can believe in... Yea Buddy

    June 1, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. anotherGDlefty

    C'mon Bobby, just come right out and tell the Fox Opinion Channel guy to sit down & shut up.

    This is not Watergate 2 no matter how many time Hannity says it is.

    Move on to real problems.

    June 1, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Jim

    What is the difference of what former-Governor Blagaovich did and this? He, from what I understand ask for a stack of $100s, but rather promises of campaign donations? So, if the President of the United States offers a job to someone, to influence their political choices, then I don't really see the difference? Is it a federal crime to promise a job or to compel someone from running for office? Or is it a crime in the State of Pennsylvania - I know it is in my State....

    If the job he was offered was no big deal, just tell us what the job was. Their continual attempt to not answer any questions, makes it seem as if they are lying... I guess they should take a tip from the Supreme Court, tell us verbally that you are invoking your Miranda Rights and Want a Lawyer, silence is not an option anymore.

    June 1, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. sifto

    the whole sordid truth will come out in the wash..fear not liberals..someone will 'fess up sooner or later.....

    June 1, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. tess

    can you only imagine what the press would be doing to bush if the situation had been bush and cheney? the same dems who are saying this is nothing would be calling for bush to be either impeached or better yet sentenced to death by firing squad! such hypocrits – you just wait til november and see what americans (REAL americans) think of you! ? ! ?

    June 1, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. mms55

    good for him ,this story is over move on!

    June 1, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. Tim

    What mororn would accept an upaid position. Unless you were independantly wealthy. Does the administration think everyone in the United State can be duped in such a way. I am tired of both parties spinning everything. What we need is truth but all we get is the bull.

    June 1, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. JR

    This situation did not affect, at any way,a single life or well-being in the US or around the world.
    If investigation is needed in this country, there are so many unpunished crimes that have been destroying people lives.

    June 1, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. patrick

    Just more lies and duplicity from the most "transparent" administration yet in office. It's a good bet the Obama gang didn't offer Sestak the White House Press Secretay's job in exchange for quitting the race. Sestak doesn't lie with a straight-faced sneer nearly as well as Gibbs.

    June 1, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Not necessary, we've done enough talking to derail the Republican party as planned. LOL

    June 1, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. Get A Grip

    Of course Gibbs declines to give more Sestak details. O'blamer's entire administration is a bunch of crooks. If Gibbs lips are moving and there is noise coming from his mouth you can bet you last penny it's a lie...Just like his boss.

    June 1, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. concerned ...

    US media will become a laughing stock, if it can't make Obama, Gibbs and Sestak, answer questions on this.

    really why do senior correspondents go to WH briefings if the spokeman himself admits to misleading them for months?

    never expected US media to be taken for such a ride by politicians ...

    June 1, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  19. leaning right....

    what else is new, I gotta tell ya if you are an obama fan you have to hate this guy, because the right absolutely loves him..... the worst press secretary in history....

    June 1, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. leaning right....

    so your trying to get a congressman to drop out of a race and you offer him an unpaid position, I buy that..... that sounds perfectly normal, makes sense, what makes even more sense is that it took 3 mos to come out with that, and it makes even more sense that nobody has the same story.

    June 1, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. jenn,philadelphia

    I don't want him to give any more details. It wasn't a crime and I'm fine with that. I want him and the President to apologize for lying in February when the story first broke and they lied. In one of Gibbs's own press conferences he said the offer never happened, and now they say it did. The American people are owed an apology from the Administration that ran on the promise of being different from the last and turning out to be just like every other one.

    June 1, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. Tony

    First, Gibbs is an idiot.

    Second, they are hiding something.

    June 1, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |