White House officials conducted 20 private briefings on Republican electoral prospects in the last midterm election for senior officials in at least 15 government agencies covered by federal restrictions on partisan political activity, a White House spokesman and other administration officials said yesterday.
The previously undisclosed briefings were part of what now appears to be a regular effort in which the White House sent senior political officials to brief top appointees in government agencies on which seats Republican candidates might win or lose, and how the election outcomes could affect the success of administration policies, the officials said.
Or rather, how administration policies could affect election outcomes.
It appears White House officials were not anticipating how these "informational meetings" would look in the light of day (or were not anticipating that news of such meetings would see the light of day.) Frankly I'm a little stumped that nobody of any consequence at any of these agencies had anything to say to anybody in the press about these meetings before now. One would think that it's hard to keep a secret when you pack a hundred or so people in a hall. Then again, that is somewhat more low-key than simply installing a Soviet-style "political officer" at each agency, though the latter would probably have been a more efficient approach.