Former Obama administration officials on Tuesday rejected a claim from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that some left discouraging notes behind in the White House for Trump administration officials to find.
Several staffers from the Obama White House responded on Twitter to dismiss Grisham’s claim that they left notes reading “you will fail” as “100% false” and “absolutely not true.”
“This is another bald faced lie,” former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice responded on Twitter.
This is another bald faced lie. https://t.co/E1U9KtdL77
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) November 19, 2019
Chris Lu, who served as Obama’s Cabinet secretary, noted the former administration had pledged to cooperate with its successors and questioned why it took three years for someone to make such a claim.
This is absolutely not true.
Obama repeatedly and publicly praised Bush cooperation during 2009 transition, and pledged we would provide same cooperation to whoever followed us. And that’s what we did.
If Grisham is correct, why has it taken 3 years to come out? https://t.co/QpN4JAGxhq
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) November 19, 2019
Grisham told one news outlet during a White House event intended to promote the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that “every office was filled with Obama books” and notes that read “you will fail” and “you’re not going to make it.”
Amid the flurry of pushback from Obama aides, Grisham clarified her comment to note she was referring specifically to the lower press office.
“In fact, I had a lovely note left for me in the East Wing, and I tracked the woman down and thanked her,” she said in a statement to The Hill. “I was talking specifically about our experience in the lower press office — nowhere else.”
“I don’t know why everyone is so sensitive!” Grisham added. “At the time we saw it as kind of a prank, and something that always happened. We were so busy trying to learn where the bathrooms were and how to turn on the lights, it wasn’t that big of a deal.”
Liz Allen, a former communications staffer for the Obama White House, said she “left a note wishing them good luck serving the American people and offering to be a resource.”
100% false. I left a note wishing them good luck serving the American people and offering to be a resource. https://t.co/JMjk0HoExa
— Liz Allen (@LizMarieAllen) November 19, 2019
Graham Bookie, a former National Security Council staffer, tweeted that he was in “the last motorcade” leaving the White House before President Trump took over and called Grisham’s claim “not true.”
“The transition period was thorough & nonpolitical,” he said. “It was a huge priority & based on the professional transition from 43 to 44.”
I was literally in the last motorcade to leave the WH from the Obama Admin at 11:59am on January 20, 2017.
This is not true.
— Graham Brookie (@GrahamBrookie) November 19, 2019
Cody Keenan, a former Obama speechwriter, quipped that advice from Obama staffers may have been useful.
“I mean, if they read the ‘how to do your job’ memos and briefing books we actually left, they’d at least know how to write a coherent speech, vet their appointees, and maybe fewer of them would be indicted or heading to jail,” he tweeted.
I mean, if they read the “how to do your job” memos and briefing books we actually left, they’d at least know how to write a coherent speech, vet their appointees, and maybe fewer of them would be indicted or heading to jail
— Cody Keenan (@codykeenan) November 19, 2019