Alumni of the Obama administration responded with shock, outrage and disbelief to a claim from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that incoming Trump administration found insulting notes left behind for them in their offices.
Grisham said during a local radio interview Tuesday morning, as reported by CNN’s Abby Phillip “We came into the White House, I’ll tell you something. Every office was filled with Obama book, and we had notes left behind that said, ‘you will fail,’ ‘You aren’t going to make it.”
“This is another bald faced lie,” Susan Rice said in a tweet.
Grisham clarified her statement to NBC News responding to Rice’s tweet: “I’m not sure where her office was, and I certainly wasn’t implying every office had that issue,” Grisham wrote, referring to Rice’s office. “In face, I had a lovely note left for me in the East Wing, and I tracked the woman down and thanked her. I was talking specifically about our experience in the lower press office – nowhere else. I don’t know why everyone is so sensitive!”
“This is a lie” Ben Rhodes , a foreign policy advisor for Obama, tweeted.
“If this happened I also don’t think the entire Trump staff would wait 3 years to tell us,” he said. “Sad to see the WH press secretary fall this far.
CNN reporter, Abby Phillip, who had quoted an excerpt from Rice’s book recounting how Rice left a note for her successor Michael Flynn:
“On a White House stationary card, I reiterate my best wishes for his success in a job so crucial to the nation’s security. I offer to help him, if ever I could…”
Grisham told Politico just days into the new administration that the outgoing press staff left a variety of books about Obama in the press office space for the incoming team – though it’s not clear she mentioned any kinds of disparaging notes.
However, historically during previous incoming administrations pranks did occur The New York Times reported in 2002, with reference to the presidential transition between Bill Clinton to George W. Bush – The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said “damage, theft, vandalism and pranks did occur in the White House complex”. The agency put the cost at $13,000 to $14,000, including $4,850 to replace computer keyboards, many with damaged or missing W keys.