House Republican Leader John A. Boehner stopped short of calling for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to step aside on Thursday - the day after a small band of vocal conservatives called for her ouster.
Asked specifically if he would ask President Barack Obama to remove Napolitano, the Republican leader was non-committal, saying instead, "I'm sure this subject will come up at the White House later today."
Conservatives remain upset about a controversial memo that highlighted the threats posed by "right-wing extremists," but questions remain about the origins of that document.
Party leaders haven't taken an official position on the Homeland Security secretary since a small core of conservatives started to agitate for her removal on Wednesday. A group of conservatives asked Boehner on Wednesday to ask the president to remove Napolitano from that post, aides said, and Texas Rep. John Carter, a member of the elected leadership, organized an hour of floor speeches Wednesday night to make the point for C-SPAN viewers.
Asked about the memo on Thursday, Boehner said, "Secretary Napolitano has an awful lot of explaining to do."
Of the memo itself, Boehner said, "It's bizarre. I and my colleagues are trying to understand who wrote this report. Why wasn't it edited?"