In an interview with CNN's John King Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Americans have a right to be upset about recent events on Wall Street.
Asked about bonuses at bailed-out Citigroup, Emanuel responded, "I think the American people have a right to be frustrated and angry." He added that the banks have a responsibility not to fight regulatory reforms because of the taxpayer money they took.
"They have a responsibility to come to the table and understand that taking -- that the risks that they took took the economy to a place, it was near a depression, which we hadn't seen since the '30s. They have a responsibility to be part of the solution, not part of being the obstacle ... which is what the president is facing both on health care and the financial system," Emanuel said. "He's fighting the very special interests that have vested interests in keeping the status quo and their friends up on Capitol Hill, that have actually been their advocates of keeping the status quo." However, he did not say what specifically the president would do.
Emanuel also denied that health care reform negotiations were secretive, saying that there had been plenty of public debate. When questioned on private discussions he quickly moved to what policy he wanted to see come out of the reform process, leading King to accuse the former congressman of "filibustering."