October 20, 2013

Photo: Gage Skidmore
Photo: Gage Skidmore

House Speaker John Boehner just wanted to sneak out of the White House for a smoke.

But President Barack Obama pulled him aside for a grilling. Obama wanted to know why they were in the second day of a government shutdown that the speaker had repeatedly and publicly pledged to avoid.

“John, what happened?” Obama asked, according to people briefed on the Oct. 2 conversation.

“I got overrun, that’s what happened,” Boehner said.

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