Just around the corner from the House Freedom Caucus' closed-door meeting with Paul D. Ryan on Wednesday afternoon, Democrats threw a party to celebrate formal adoption of the Iran nuclear deal.
A string ensemble invited to play at the stately Rayburn Room event filled the marble halls with music, and provided a sophisticated soundtrack for the GOP leadership race stakeout. Democrats shuffled back and forth from the reception to their cloakroom undisturbed, while reporters pounced on members exiting the GOP meeting with the Wisconsin Republican. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough attended the fete, according to an HOH tipster, who spotted McDonough walking out the door with a mouthful of food shortly after 4 p.m.
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, another close confidant of the president, stopped by the party 30 minutes later.
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.