Exclusive: Rep. Gingrey to Ask Sebelius for Dates of Obama Meetings
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) told Breitbart News on Wednesday that his startling exchange with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over how many times she met one-on-one with President Barack Obama displayed an alarming level of "evasiveness," an inability "to answer basic questions," and that the Georgia congressman plans to ask Sebelius to turn over the dates of the undocumented meetings.
During Wednesday's House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Gingrey asked Sebelius how regularly she and Obama met one-on-one to work on Obamacare over the last four years.
"How many times did you actually visit with the President since 2009 or 2010 when you came on board?" asked Gingrey, who is also a medical doctor by training. "How many personal visits did you have with him at the White House regarding the Affordable Care Act?"
"A lot," said Sebelius.
"Can you verify that?" asked Gingrey.
The chair then said, "The Gentleman's time has expired."
"I, I...," a flustered Sebelius said while flailing her hands in the air.
Gingrey says Sebelius's answers were not satisfactory.
"Today we witnessed more evasiveness from Secretary Sebelius as she bobbed and weaved her way through this morning's hearing," said Gingrey. "Whether she was unable to answer basic questions or simply refused to do so, it has to stop. She has been tasked with overhauling one-sixth of the economy and so far, Obamacare has been one disaster after another."
Gingrey added, "Patients and taxpayers deserve better."
The growing controversy over the dates of the one-on-one meetings between Obama and Sebelius began with the release of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report which revealed that the White House's own calendar lists a single meeting between the two in the over three-and-a-half years leading up to the disastrous Obamacare rollout. The GAI report says that over the same period of time, the White House calendar records 277 meetings between Obama and his other Cabinet secretaries.
GAI President Peter Schweizer published a Politico Magazine opinion piece that prompted questions from NBC News Peter Alexander and ABC News Jonathan Karl during a White House press briefing with Press Secretary Jay Carney. Carney said he did not know how many times Obama and Sebelius had met one-on-one but assured the nation they met "with regularity." HHS Spokesperson Joanne Peters then issued a statement that the two held "countless" one-on-one meetings to work on Obamacare and that "dozens" of these meetings took place this year alone.
So far, neither the White House nor HHS have released the dates of the meetings that appear nowhere on the White House's own official calendar. However, that could be changing soon. Rep. Gingrey tells Breitbart News he plans to follow-up with Sebelius to obtain the dates of her unrecorded meetings with Obama.