WH Claims Obama 'Regularly' Meets with Sebelius Off the Record
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to dismiss a shocking Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report that found President Barack Obama had only a single face-to-face meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius since Obamacare was signed over three years ago.
When asked whether the nonpartisan GAI report shows a deficiency in Obama's "leadership skills" during his White House press briefing, Carney alleged that "cabinet secretaries don't regularly get entered into the visitor's logs" and alleged that Obama meets "frequently" and "regularly" with Sebelius.
As Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer noted on Fox News's Hannity on Wednesday, though, GAI examined the White House visitor logs and found that whenever Sebelius went to the White House, it was for social functions with "dozens or hundreds of people." He noted on Hannity that if Obama met with Sebelius and left the meetings off the books, Sebelius would be the only cabinet secretary whose meetings with the White House were concealed.
The Government Accountability Institute report found that since Obamacare was signed on March 23, 2010, Obama met with "various Cabinet secretaries a total of 277 times," but his presidential schedule did not "document a single one-on-one meeting" with Sebelius. There was, though, "one instance of Secretary Sebelius meeting jointly with the President and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner."
According to the White House schedule, Obama "met with secretaries from the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury for 263 (95%) out of his 277 face-to-face meetings." Obama also had meetings with "secretaries from the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Justice, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs... [including] two meetings with the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (not an official Cabinet level post)."
As Breitbart News has reported, GAI "recorded listings as they were contained on the White House and Politico presidential calendars; other forms of communications, such as private emails or phone calls, are not able to be quantified." They also examined public records on Politico's White House schedule
Schweizer had previously said there was no evidence on the White House schedule that showed Obama cared about Obamacare
"In the case of President Obama, if you look at his calendar, there is no evidence whatsoever that he is focused or has much interest in health care at all," Schweizer said on Hannity on Wednesday.
In a piece he wrote for Politico on Thursday, Schweizer mentioned that "perhaps the insular White House team wanted to distance the president from the bureaucratic process in the hopes of granting him a halo of deniability if the launch failed." He also noted "the lack of meetings reinforces the severity of what the New York Times describes as the 'deeply dysfunctional relationship between the Department of Health and Human Services and its technology contractors, and tensions between the White House chief of staff and senior health department officials.'"
On Fox & Friends on Friday, Schweizer emphasized that ignorance should never be an excuse for a leader.
"If you're an executive you need to know for sure--for darn sure--that the rollout is going to work and it's going to go well," Schweizer said. "And it's really incumbent upon a president to contact the people that are involved in this initiative."
That is not the case with Obama, Schweizer noted, particularly because Obama's top advisers like Valerie Jarrett "don't challenge" Obama's weaknesses and "reinforce this notion that he is so brilliant."
Schweizer said presidents consult their top advisers in times of war and peace and that "there's just simply no excuse for him to be this detached on this important piece of legislation which is reorienting one-sixth of the national economy."