Report: WH chief of staff meeting with Democratic strategists

But independent of the recent controversies, McDonough has been engaging in a steady charm offensive of his own in recent weeks. Earlier this month he met privately with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Senate Democrats. Time reported that he and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) met for a beer in April.

McDonough even has worked to reach out to reporters, bringing boxes of doughnuts to the press workspace in the basement of the White House last week.