Bob Woodward claims threat by White House

by Staff

The man who helped bring down President Richard Nixon is taking on the Obama administration. The Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who uncovered the Watergate scandal, has been publicizing his spat with one of President Barack Obama’s top aides.

Woodward has been making the media rounds talking about what he perceived to be a threatening email from the White House. First, Woodward got an earful from White House economic advisor Gene Sperling after calling out Sperling about a piece he had written, which questioned how sequestration came about.

In a Washington Post op-ed article, Woodward said the White House administration was the “brainchild” behind the sequestration, even though Obama claimed sequestration was created by Congress.

Later, Sperling sent Woodward an email apologizing for raising his voice, but Woodward didn’t feel it was conciliatory. Instead, he says he perceived the email as a threat.

“It was said very clearly, ‘you will regret doing this,’” Woodward told CNN. “It makes me very uncomfortable having the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in.”

The actual email from Sperling was released on Politico.

“I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim,” Sperling stated in the email.

Woodward responded with, “You do not ever have to apologize to me.”

Woodward’s polite response to Sperling’s email caused some to criticize his claim about feeling threatened.

“It seemed a bit of an overreaction and a bit overly sensitive,” San Diego State journalism professor Tim Wulfemeyer said.

The sequestration mandates a $1.2 trillion budget cut lasting for more than nine years. It was never intended to actually take effect, but because Democrats and Republicans didn’t reach an agreement on an alternate plan, the cuts will ensue.

Defense spending will be cut by $550 billion, which may affect security and military operations. Health care, law enforcement, education, disaster relief, unemployment benefits and nonprofit organization funds will also be affected.

The budget cuts will not affect Pell grants, veterans’ benefits, Social Security and other select low-income programs.