Shortly after the photo-op meeting and “working lunch” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the one that saw President Obama openly chastised by the Prime Minister for Obama’s earlier public comments regarding wanting to see Israel return to its 1967 borders — the president verbally “went off” on Richard Daley in the private study area that adjoins the Oval Office.
President Obama’s verbal attack was clearly heard by numerous staff up and down the West Wing hallways.
The essence of the president’s rage and embarrassment can best be summed up with him yelling out very loudly, “What the f-ck was that!?”
That phrase was apparently repeated a number of times in the span of about five minutes, a time period in which Obama’s voice became “louder and louder” and culminating in Obama exclaiming, “Never again! Do you understand me? Never again!”
Any response by Bill Daley back to the president, if given, was not overheard.
Daley was soon after seen walking slowly down the hallway back toward his own office. He appeared “unconcerned” and was walking alone. His mood was apparently good enough that he took the time to speak briefly with some junior staffers before continuing down the hall. There was no sign of the president, though Valerie Jarrett did make an appearance on her way into the Oval Office.
This was viewed as somewhat of a rare thing as Jarrett has apparently not been seen much on the lower levels of the West Wing for the last month or so. Neither she nor the president was seen for some time after that.
The president did not emerge until it was time to make another brief speech at a nearby location later that afternoon. I did not receive information on whether or not Daley accompanied the president on that short trip, but the president’s mood was described as “much improved” when he returned.
While the details of this confrontation are a bit dated, I found them very interesting and think they provide some clear insight into the debilitating pressures that I am certain are getting to the president, and given the more recent developments that are now challenging the administration, I would not be at all surprised to hear more such examples coming from inside the White House in the very near future.
Oh, and another little FYI in case you missed it. Obama had a recent “meeting” with some of his former top advisers very recently. In my line of work that means only one thing. This administration is absolutely sh-tting itself right now. The cover is being blown off, the fingers of blame are being pointed, and discussions over who is going to take the fall are happening this very moment. Things are going rather well for us. Not too bad for an old news almost out to pasture relic huh? Much work remains to be done though.