By Justin Sink - 09/18/14 06:45 PM EDT
First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaClinton, Michelle Obama to hold first joint rally Thursday Obama congratulates Cubs for making it to World Series 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race MORE showered praise on embattled Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Thursday, hours after the release of a story suggesting the Florida congresswoman had lost the confidence of prominent Democrats — including the president.
The first lady recognized Wasserman Schultz during remarks at the Women's Leadership Forum, a fundraising conference organized by the DNC to promote women's issues.
Earlier Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest also offered support for Wasserman Schultz, saying the administration had "strong confidence" in her and expected her to finish out her term leading the committee.
"Under her leadership, the DNC has expanded their digital and technology staff, who are providing campaigns of all sizes cutting-edge tools that the Obama campaign used to great success in 2012," Earnest said. He added that the committee had also launched a voter expansion project in swing states.
"She also has been hard at work working closely with the finance staff of the DNC to pay off debt that the DNC incurred in the context of the 2012 elections," Earnest added.
A Politico story chronicling the discontent between the White House and DNC chairwoman suggested the president and Wasserman Schultz have rarely spoken over the past three years, and do not meet regularly.
The president was also reportedly irked over Wasserman Schultz's complaints that she had been unable to hire a donor's daughter as a staffer at the DNC, while top adviser Valerie Jarrett expressed concern that the Florida congresswoman had her daughter sit in on an interview with the one of the president's preferred candidates to become the committee's executive director.