WASHINGTON, D.C. — The mystery staffer who invited Tampa socialite Jill Kelley to visit the White House is a special assistant to President Barack Obama and an associate counsel focusing on national security issues.
Mike Gottlieb, who has been with the administration since Obama took office, twice had breakfast with Kelley and her sister in the White House dining hall.
White House officials confirmed last month that Kelley had visited a "mid-level staffer," but declined to name the staffer. Visitor log records released Friday identify Gottlieb.
It's unclear how Gottlieb met Kelley, one of the women at the center of the scandal that led to the resignation of Gen. David Petraeus as CIA director.
But Kelley frequently socialized with top military brass stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, home to the military's Central Command and Special Operations Command.
And the Central Command website says Gottlieb was detailed from the White House for a time to a joint interagency task force focusing on detainee operations in Afghanistan. He was in Kabul from January 2010 through March 2011, according to a biography.
Gottlieb, as a White House employee, is allowed to bring guests to dine in the White House mess — basically an employee cafeteria.
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