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NASHUA, NH.--Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs apologized Monday for insulting First Lady Michelle Obama during an explosive staff meeting where he also laid into Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. The scene is recounted in a new book, "The Obamas," by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor. Jarrett said the two have "worked through disagreements."
My post on episode in Kantor's book on how when Mrs. Obama worked in Mayor Daley's City Hall in the early 1990s, she was "distressed" by how a small group of "white Irish Catholic" families -- the Daleys, the Hynes and the Madigans -- "locked up" power in Illinois is HERE.
"In any high-pressure work environment there are occasional arguments and disagreements and that is certainly true of the White House. I regret speaking in anger and regret that this disagreement became so public. But those moments pale in comparison to the important issues facing our country and will not overshadow the vital work Valerie and I will do together as part of a team in 2012," Gibbs said in a statement.
Said Jarrett in a statement, "Since 2004, Robert Gibbs and I have worked together on campaigns and in the government, and he has been a valued advisor and Press Secretary to this President and a key member of the Obama team. Like any colleagues, we've shared some laughs and we've shared some words over the years. But we have always worked through any disagreements out of mutual respect and in our shared commitment now and in the future to President Obama."
The blow-up, Kantor wrote, came during a staff meeting on Sept. 16, 2010, after Gibbs just tamped down a report that Mrs. Obama had told French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy that she "can't stand" life in the White House, that it was "hell."
Jarrett said Mrs. Obama was "dissatisfied" with how the situation was handled and Gibbs exploded at Jarrett for getting involved in the matter. He threw the "F" word around, aiming one time at Mrs. Obama.