Obama on Sestak controversy: 'Nothing improper took place'

President Barack Obama said Thursday that "nothing improper happened" regarding allegations that the White House offered Rep. Joe Sestak a job to get out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary.

Speaking at a press conference in the East Room, Obama said his administration would release an official response to the claim very soon.

"There will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue which I hope will answer your question," he said. "When I say shortly, I mean shortly; not weeks or months."

Republicans have put pressure on the White House and Sestak (D-Pa.) to reveal what exactly was discussed in conversations during the primary race regarding the alleged job offer.

The GOP has said if an offer was made, it could violate federal law.

Last weekend, Sestak confirmed that claim but did not elaborate what was discussed. The White House has been mum on the issue since March, when press secretary Robert Gibbs said that nothing inappropriate occurred.

But the White House's silence has led to more questions on the issue.

"I can assure the public that nothing improper took place," Obama said, echoing Gibbs.

Months ago, Sestak said that he was offered a job from the White House to get out of the race with Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), whom Obama endorsed. When Sestak made his statement, he was trailing Specter in the polls, but he eventually won the race.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in a statement that both Sestak and the White House could be damned no matter what is made public.

"Hopefully, the pending response President Obama referred to will detail what conversations were had with Congressman Sestak," he said. "If what President said is true and nothing 'improper' took place, Admiral Sestak's credibility will be called into significant question. If the President's response is insufficient or contradicted, the situation will only escalate."

This post was updated at 4:29 p.m.

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