Angry Holder, Axelrod 'Had to Be Separated'

Author Daniel Klaidman dishes on 2009 Cabinet dust-up
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2012 4:12 PM CDT
Eric Holder and David Axelrod, alpha males.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Eric Holder and David Axelrod went toe to toe in a heated cabinet meeting that almost got physical, according to a new book on Obama's presidency. Holder, the attorney general, became "incensed" when the Obama adviser accused him of griping publicly about White House interference, the Telegraph reports. "That's bull****," said Holder. In Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency, author Daniel Klaidman describes the two as going "chest to chest. It was like a school yard fight."

White House adviser Valerie Jarrett got involved, pushing "her way between the two men, her sense of decorum disturbed, ordering them to 'take it out of the hallway'," writes Klaidman. The two alphas were allegedly bickering over attempts to place a political official on Holder's staff. USA Today reports that Axelrod, now on Obama's re-election campaign, denies any attempted interference with Holder, while Holder says "we may have gone chest to chest back in the day. But we have a strong relationship." (Read more Eric Holder stories.)

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