The Corner

Podesta: GOP ‘Cult Worthy of Jonestown’

John Podesta may have provided a peek into the tone he will look to set when he joins the Obama administration next month. In an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush, the former Clinton chief of staff both compared Republicans to a massive suicidal cult and provided insight into the White House’s plans to work around Congress.

“[The White House] need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress,” he said.

“I think [White House officials] were naturally preoccupied with legislating at first, and I think it took them a while to make the turn to execution,” he continued. “They are focused on that now.”

Podesta’s comparison has already drawn ire from Republicans, including from John Boehner’s spokesperson Brendan Buck.

In comments to Roll Call, Buck noted that Representative Leo Ryan of California was killed during a visit to Jonestown and that current Representative Jackie Speier, who was part of Ryan’s legal team, was shot multiple times during the incident.

“If this is the attitude of the new White House, it’s hard to see how the president gets anything done again,” he said.

UPDATE: Podesta apologized for his comments over Twitter. “In an old interview my snark got in front of my judgment,” he said; the comments were made “earlier this fall,” according to Politico.

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