In the summer of 2010, with Republicans poised to take over the House and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in line to lead the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the White House started urging reporters to write negative stories about the congressman's past, a new book says.
New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich describes what he says were the anti-Issa efforts in "This Town," a condemnation of Washington self-obsession and self-promotion, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Post.
According to Leibovich, former Obama deputy press secretary Bill Burton suggested the reporter look into Issa's past. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was also circulating opposition research on the congressman, Leibovich writes.
Other highlights from the book: Secretary of State John Kerry is not popular, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when told the White House Correspondents' Association dinner might conflict with the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, responded, "[Expletive] the White House Correspondents' Association dinner."