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Barack Obama has clashed angrily with Republican senators at a Washington lunch (AP)

Barack Obama has clashed angrily with Republican senators at a Washington lunch (AP)

Barack Obama has clashed angrily with Republican senators at a Washington lunch (AP)

US president Barack Obama has clashed with Republican senators at a Washington lunch where they accused him of duplicity, audacity and unbending partisanship.

Politicians said Tuesday's bitter exchange left legislative logjams intact, and one Republican leader said nothing was likely to change before the November elections.

Mr Obama's sharpest accuser was Bob Corker, a first-term senator who feels the administration undermined his efforts to craft a bipartisan financial regulation bill.

"I told him I thought there was a degree of audacity in him even showing up today after what happened with financial regulation," Mr Corker said. "I just wanted him to tell me how, when he wakes up in the morning, comes over to a luncheon like ours today, how does he reconcile that duplicity?"

Four people who were in the room said Mr Obama bristled and defended his administration's handling of negotiations.

On the way out, Mr Corker said, Mr Obama approached him and both men repeated their main points.

"I told him there was a tremendous disconnect from his words and the actions of his administration," Mr Corker said.

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But White House spokesman Bill Burton, who attended the 80-minute session, said the exchange "was actually pretty civil".

The senators applauded Mr Obama, who had requested the luncheon, when he entered and left the room. Mr Obama told reporters as he departed: "It was a good, frank discussion about a whole range of issues."

But some Republicans were less kind. "He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans," Senator Pat Roberts said. "He's pretty thin-skinned."


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