Sen. DickDurbin (D-Ill.) at a news conference   at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 16. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The White House on Wednesday denied an account of bitter negotiations during the recent government shutdown published by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), perhaps President Obama's closest ally on the Hill.

On Sunday, Durbin posted on his Facebook page a description of a recent meeting between Obama and House Republicans that drew immediate criticism — and denials — by GOP members who had attended it. Durbin wrote:

"Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a 'negotiation' meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: 'I cannot even stand to look at you.'

"What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?"