WASHINGTON -- Before White House chief of staff Denis McDonough came to brief Senate Democrats on Thursday afternoon, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had a little pep talk with his flock. Every Tuesday, during the weekly caucus lunches, he said, you all gripe and moan about the White House. But then when the White House comes by, there's never a peep.
The talk may not have been necessary. The White House's briefing to Democrats on immigration Thursday erupted instead into a confrontation over the Senate's classified torture report, Senate sources told The Huffington Post.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, waited for the immigration discussion to end and then pulled out a prepared speech that she read for five or six minutes, making the case for the release of the damning portrayal of America's post-9/11 torture program.
"It was a vigorous, vigorous and open debate -- one of the best and most thorough discussions I've been a part of while here," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (.), who served as intelligence committee chair before Feinstein, was furious after the meeting, and accused the administration of deliberately stalling the report.
“It’s being slow-walked to death. They’re doing everything they can not to release it," Rockefeller told HuffPost.