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Jon Stewart, Obama held secret meetings at White House

Former White House aides said the president met privately with The Daily Show host in 2011 and 2014.

By Kate Stanton
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Jon Stewart, Obama held secret meetings at White House

WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama held private meetings with Jon Stewart at least twice at the White House to discuss policy, as well as the Daily Show's connection to younger voters.

According to the official White House log, the president called Stewart to the Oval Office in 2011 and 2014.

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Former aides told Politico, in a report published Tuesday, that Obama wanted to sell his platform to the longtime Daily Show host in an effort to galvanize support for his reelection.

"The White House itself was quite interested in at least explaining its side of the story to Jon Stewart," Austan Goolsbee, Obama's former economic policy adviser, told the site.

David Axelrod, the president's former senior adviser, said Obama and Stewart acted as a "useful" challenge to White House policy.

Former White House aide Daz Vega told The New York Times that the president also wanted to reach out to younger voters who relied on Stewart for news.

"Jon Stewart was a key influencer for millennials," Vega said. "They relied on him for an honest take on the news, and the president and senior staff know that."

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Vega also said that it was "often remarked in senior staff meetings that he was the Walter Cronkite for the millennial generation. That's why it was important to meet up with him and engage with him."

Stewart's final episode of the Daily Show, which he has hosted since 1999, will air August 6.

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