Fareed Zakaria Clarifies His Presidential Meetings: I Did Not Advise Obama

Earlier this week, CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria made the strange admission that he met with President Obama to discuss international issues. Our own Colby Hall called it a “stunning revelation”, which Howard Kurtz quoted on Reliable Sources today as he made the point that in his opinion, such meetings should have been disclosed.

Zakaria provided Kurtz with a statement clarifying the details of his meetings with Obama in addition to posting his own statement on his website:

The characterization that I have been “advising” President Obama is inaccurate. Over the last few months I’ve had a couple of conversations with the president, off-the-record. At no point did President Obama ask me for advice on a specific policy or speech or proposal, nor did I volunteer it. I know that he has had similar meetings with other columnists.

Kurtz reported that Zakaria states “he never gave Obama advice or counsel on any aspect of administration policy” and that Zakaria defended himself as a commentator, and not a reporter, who had similar meetings in the past with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Yet Kurtz insisted that it seems like a smarter to idea to always disclose such meetings, or not have them at all, in order to avoid suspicions later when word leaks out.

Watch the clip from CNN below:

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