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Gibbs Threatens to Pull Obama Out of Meeting Over Press Dispute

Gibbs Press Flap

Nov. 8: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs (R) argues with an official from the Indian Prime Minister's office after the travelling White House press pool were initially refused entry to the bilateral meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. (Reuters)

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs threatened to pull President Obama from a meeting with India’s prime minister on Monday when security attempted to restrict the number of U.S. reporters allowed into the event.

The meeting between Obama and Prime Minister Manmoham Singh proceeded as planned after Indian officials relented.

It was arranged beforehand that eight reporters from the White House press pool would be admitted to the meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, but Indian officials tried to cut the number from eight to five just before the photo-op.

Several U.S. officials pushed to have all eight pool members let in, but it wasn’t until Gibbs said that he was serious about pulling Obama that the whole group was admitted.

“That whole group is going in because they’re going in with me,” Gibbs insisted.

A member of the pool said at one point that Gibbs had his foot lodged in the door of Hyderabad House, the venue where the meeting was taking place, asking security officials if they intended to break his foot.

Obama’s stop in New Delhi is part of a 10-day trip to Asia focused on expanding U.S. exports and deepening diplomatic ties.