On Wednesday morning, Byron York, the chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, acknowledged meeting Tuesday afternoon with President Obama and a small group of conservative journalists for an off-the-record discussion.
Given the ground rules, York cannot discuss specifics, but broadly explained his reason for attending the meeting and its benefits in a series of tweets:
To interested tweeps: Yes, I was at WH meeting Tuesday with President Obama. I agreed beforehand that content would be off the record. It was good meeting; really helped me better understand WH perspective on current matters. As far as OTR is concerned, on Monday I had long talk with a leader of the defund Obamacare effort, combo background and off-the-record. I understand the suspicions, but in my experience these meetings do not involve exchange of any secrets; rather, they are way for officials to expand and explain their positions in little more open way that allows me to better understand what is going on. Finally, I was impressed Obama invited conservative journalists in. He didn't have to, but he did, and I thought that was a good thing.
The Huffington Post first reported the names of attendees of the roughly 90-minute discussion, which took place shortly after Obama took questions from the White House press corps.
The other attendees were Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot, National Review Washington editor Robert Costa, syndicated columnists Kathleen Parker and Washington Post columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer.
Obama has had many off-the-record meetings with journalists and pundits throughout his presidency. While it's more likely for liberal writers and commentators to be invited, Obama has also met with conservative columnists, including the New York Times David Brooks and Ross Douthat in August.