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Policy: Technology

Valerie Jarrett: 'Best and brightest' tech leaders praised White House for fixing Obamacare website

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Beltway Confidential,White House,Charlie Spiering,Obamacare,Healthcare.gov,Technology

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett claimed that some of the "best and brightest" tech leaders who met with President Obama on Tuesday praised White House officials for fixing the Obamacare website.

During the meeting, Jarrett revealed, Obama's outgoing point man for fixing the website, Jeff Zients, gave a presentation on the work they did to fix the plagued website after its disastrous Oct. 1 launch.

"One of the very positive feedback that we received from the technology folks — and we clearly had the best and the brightest technology in the room yesterday — and after they heard the presentation from Jeff (Zients), the feedback that they gave him was that he had done everything that they would have done once he came in to try to fix the site," Jarrett said during a Politico Playbook Breakfast interview on Wednesday morning.

Obama met with 15 officials representing major tech companies, including Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Jarrett explained that Zients began the meeting with a presentation on the work they had done to fix the healthcare.gov website and had a "constructive conversation" about the process.

Jarrett responded to reports that some of the tech leaders complained that the White House meeting was more about Obamacare than their privacy concerns surrounding the National Security Agency.

According to the Guardian, several senior executives pushed back against White House officials for trying to connect the event with healthcare.gov.

One official who met with Obama told CNN, "We didn't fly across the country for a discussion on healthcare.gov."

After the White House event, the group issued a short joint statement that made no mention of the Obamacare website.

"We appreciated the opportunity to share directly with the president our principles on government surveillance that we released last week and we urge him to move aggressively on reform," the statement read.

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