White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday answered growing questions about whether big donors to President Barack Obama's nonprofit Organizing for America (OFA) are being promised access to the president.
His answer? Well, kind of.
While Carney had responded "no" when Fox News' Ed Henry asked if a recent report "suggests that access to the president is being sold," his explanation sidestepped the issue. He offered instead a string of policy proposals, definitions and a recitation of campaign finance rules.
On Friday, New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore wrote of an alleged pay-for-access arrangement through OFA: "Giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House."
On Monday, Carney emphasized that the group, which was born out of the president's campaign committee, is an "independent organization"; that administration officials follow rules regarding separation between outside groups and the administration; and that the president supports campaign finance transparency.
When pressed again to explain the reports, Carney referred questions to OFA.