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Rubio and Obama: Talking Immigration?

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Is the White House talking to Republicans on immigration?

The leading Republican on the issue is Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and his office told reporters Tuesday that they’ve had no consultation with the White House on the issue of immigration.

“President Obama and the White House staff are not working with Republicans on immigration reform,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said in an email to reporters. “Senator Rubio’s office has never discussed immigration policy with anyone in the White House.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney disputed that.  “We have been in contact with everybody involved in this effort on Capitol Hill,” he said.

In fact, the White House claims the president’s aides have had no fewer than five meetings with the staffs of the bipartisan group of senators working on an immigration bill – including Rubio’s staff.

“We have never discussed immigration policy with anyone from the White House,” says Conant. “The administration has sent some agency officials to brief staff at the bipartisan group meetings, but they’ve never asked for our input. We’ve never received a call or email from [Director of the White House Policy Council] Cecilia Munoz or anyone else at the White House asking for our input as they draft their bill.”

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