Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) issued a statement Friday confirming the White House's account of its job offer to him to get out of the Senate primary race.
A memo released Friday by White House Counsel Bob Bauer said the White House, through former President Bill Clinton, offered Sestak a position on a presidential advisory board last year that would have been unpaid. Bauer said nothing improper or illegal occurred in the discussions.
Sestak, the memo says, turned down the position and decided to remain in the race against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), which he eventually won.
"Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives," Sestak said. "I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former president said he knew I'd say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects."
Republicans say the memo only raises more questions about the job offer, which they say could have broken federal laws.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Friday that the memo raises more questions and makes several "unsubstantiated" assertions.