(WASHINGTON) — White House economic adviser Gene Sperling brushed off his reported spat with Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward Sunday morning on This Week.
“All I can say, George, is that Bob Woodward is a legend,” Sperling told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I hope that him and I can put this behind us.”
The controversy began after a heated phone call between the pair over a Woodward piece about the sequestration debate, in which he said President Obama was “moving the goal posts” by asking for more revenue. Sperling then emailed Woodward an apology – but also included the phrase “As a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.” On CNN, Woodward said that the phrase made him “very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters you’re going to regret doing something you believe in.”
Sperling defended his email exchange with Woodward to Stephanopoulos.
“I’ve known Bob Woodward for twenty years. We’ve had a very friendly and respectful relationship. I think virtually everybody who has looked at my email to him and his reply to me thought those emails reflected that degree of respect and politeness,” Sperling said.
Sperling said he has not spoken with Woodward since their communication became a national story.
“I havent talked to him yet, but I hope to,” Sperling said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Dan Berman, Phil Mattingly and David Mark, CNN Newswire
MJ Lee, CNN Newswire