The White House found itself on the defensive Wednesday as spokesman Robert Gibbs tried to answer questions about a Washington Times investigation indicating that this White House -- like those before it -- rewarded big Democratic donors with access to the White House and its powerful players.
“During his first nine months in office, President Obama has quietly rewarded scores of top Democratic donors with VIP access to the White House, private briefings with administration advisers and invitations to important speeches and town-hall meetings,” wrote Matthew Mosk. With internal Democratic National Committee documents obtained by The Washington Times, Mosk wrote that high-dollar fundraisers were “promised access to senior White House officials in exchange for pledges to donate $30,400 personally or to bundle $300,000 in contributions ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.”
The document offers the most generous donors membership in the DNC's National Finance Committee or the National Advisory Board.
"Together with the National Finance Committee, the National Advisory Board meets four times throughout the year in Washington, D.C. to discuss current issues, policies, and strategies," one of the documents says. "They have an opportunity to meet senior members of the Obama administration and senior members of Congress, and to hear from political analysts and policy experts."
One donor was given a birthday visit to the Oval Office. UBS Americas CEO Robert Wolf, the president’s top New York City “bundler” -- a contributor who raises hundreds of thousands of dollars -- golfed with him at Martha's Vineyard vacation in August. White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina gave briefings on health care reform to top donors in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Other big Democratic donors celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and the 4th of July at the White House; the White House has not released the names of those who visited for those celebrations at the White House. (CONTINUES HERE AT ABC NEWS)