POLITICS

David Axelrod To Bob Woodward: Why Didn't You Say 'Don't Threaten Me?' (VIDEO)

03/01/2013 10:20 am ET | Updated Mar 01, 2013

Former White House adviser David Axelrod pressed reporter Bob Woodward over his comments about a White House official who said he'd "regret" accusing the Obama administration of "moving the goal posts" in the fight over sequestration.

“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters ‘you are going to regret’ doing something,” Woodward told CNN earlier this week.

The full emails exchanged between Woodward and White House economic adviser Gene Sperling were released Thursday, revealing Sperling's actual comments to Woodward:

I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall -- but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim ... My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.

Axlerod cited the emails while confronting Woodward on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"When the full emails came out they were as cordial as can be. His email was cordial, and your response was cordial," Axelrod said. "So if you felt threatened, why didn't you say to Gene, don't threaten me?"

Woodward denied that he felt "threatened" and accused Axelrod of "putting words in my mouth."

"I said I don't think this is the way to operate," Woodward said. "And you and I have had many discussions. You've never said to me, Oh, you're going to regret doing that, am I correct?"

"Yes, but this was a specific discussion about a specific point you had raised," Axelrod said. "It seemed like Gene was, in that email, certainly was very, very polite in the way that he pushed back on that. I'm not putting words in your mouth, Bob. It's your newspaper that said you said you were threatened."

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