Boehner aide: White House meeting 'exclusively' on foreign policy


Boehner himself simply answered “no” when asked by reporters if he wanted to say anything about the meeting, when asked by CNN.

Neither the White House nor spokesman for the meeting’s other attendees — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — otherwise responded to requests for comment.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who was also in attendance, met immediately after the conference with congressional leaders with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in the Oval Office.

The meetings came amid a swirl of international news. The Obama Administration has been furiously attempting to coerce Russia to extradite Edward Snowden, the former defense contractor responsible for leaking information about the National Security Agency's top-secret surveillance programs, who arrived at the Moscow airport from Hong Kong.

In a statement earlier Tuesday, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said there existed “a clear legal basis to expel Mr. Snowden, based on the status of his travel documents and the pending charges against him.”

Russian authorities, including President Vladimir Putin, have indicated they will not act to intercept Snowden before he attempts to leave, possibly to seek asylum in Ecuador.

The Obama Administration also announced earlier this month that it was increasing support to rebel groups in Syria after determining the Assad regime there had deployed chemical weapons. The White House has thus far declined to detail what type of weapons it has given to the rebel forces.

The meeting also came hours before the president was scheduled to leave for a week-long trip to Africa. Obama's trip comes as former South African president Nelson Mandela is battling a respiratory infection that has left him in critical condition.

Russell Berman contributed to this story. This post was updated at 6:30 p.m.