I'm actually kind of relieved to hear this denial. The idea that a political staffer was part of national security meetings was repugnant to me, just as it was when Karl Rove was part of every decision in the Bush White House:
Senior Obama political aide David Axelrod said little today about a past fight with Attorney General Eric Holder, but flatly denied reports that he attended high-level national security meetings.
"I know there were weekly meetings dealing with terrorist threats and planning around it, but I did not attend those meetings," Axelrod said on CBS' Face the Nation.
As for a new book's report of a 2009 confrontation with Holder over the attorney general's concerns about political interference in legal matters, Axelrod said:
"First of all, let me say, Eric Holder is a great friend of mine. We actually went to the same high school. So we may have gone chest to chest back in the day. But we have a strong relationship. And I'm not going to get into the details of that, other than to say I respect him."
Axelrod, a former administration aide who now works with Obama's re-election campaign, also told CBS: "I obviously never tried to interfere in anything that he (Holder) did, never talked to him about a governmental matter or a Justice Department matter in all of the years I was in the White House."