Washington (CNN) – There are currently no behind-the-scenes talks or private communication between negotiators looking to reach a deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff, a senior Republican aide said Tuesday.
"No conversations today – no emails, tweets, carrier pigeons," the aide said. "The White House is making no effort to find a compromise to avert the fiscal cliff. We are ready to talk whenever they are ready to get serious."
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While high stakes negotiations often involve private talks taking place amid public bluster, this aide said what is playing out in public is the only thing playing out at all.
Pressed on the status of negotiations Tuesday, President Barack Obama's press secretary Jay Carney avoided saying specifically whether talks were continuing between the White House and representatives of House Speaker John Boehner.
"We do not schedule meetings through the press. We do not negotiate through the press," Carney said, saying he could "guarantee that conversations continue on different levels, among different groups."
"Whether there are emails being exchanged at this moment, I can't say, but broadly speaking there are conversations taking place," Carney said. He also pointed to Monday night's White House holiday party for members of Congress, during which he said Obama met with "scores" of lawmakers.
"It's inconceivable to me that nobody mentioned the fiscal cliff," Carney concluded.
One lawmaker Obama didn't converse with Monday was Boehner - multiple Democratic and Republican sources said the two didn't see or speak to each other during the black-tie event.