And now it’s an election year, so we have to stamp out narratives that don’t help Dear Leader.
White House “Fact Checker”, Dan Pfeiffer, reporting for duty!:
Lately, there’s been a rumor swirling around about the current location of the bust of Winston Churchill. Some have claimed that President Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy.
Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column. He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”
This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.
News outlets have debunked this claim time and again. First, back in 2010 the National Journal reported that “the Churchill bust was relocated to a prominent spot in the residence to make room for Abraham Lincoln, a figure from whom the first African-American occupant of the Oval Office might well draw inspiration in difficult times.” And just in case anyone forgot, just last year the AP reported that President Obama “replaced the Oval Office fixture with a bust of one of his American heroes, President Abraham Lincoln, and moved the Churchill bust to the White House residence.”
Is it possible that there were two Churchill busts, and the one that was on loan to George W. Bush was returned when Obama entered office? Yes, I believe it is…
The bust the White House claimed today was the one that was supposedly never returned is actually a different one which was already part of the White House collection. Obama did return the bust lent to Bush and it is currently at the British ambassador’s house.
A bronze bust of Winston Churchill is becoming hotly contested in Washington. Well, actually, make that two of them.
A bust of the former British Prime Minister was lent by the British government to the White House in 2001 and displayed in the Oval Office. Conservatives, pointing to reports from British and American news outlets, blasted President Barack Obama for allegedly returning the statue after becoming president in 2009.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer blasted back Friday, saying the statue remains in the White House, but has moved positions to a hallway outside the Treaty Room, in the president’s residence.
In a blog post on the White House’s website, Pfeiffer included an official White House photo of Obama viewing the bust with British Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit in 2010.
“Hopefully this clears things up a bit and prevents folks from making this ridiculous claim again,” Pfeiffer wrote.
But late Friday, British Embassy Spokesman James Barbour said there were actually two busts of Churchill, both by artist Sir Jacob Epstein.
The one that was loaned to the George W. Bush administration in 2001 was returned after Bush left office and now resides at the British ambassador’s residence in Washington.
A second bust, which is part of the White House’s own art collection, is displayed in the White House. It is that bust which Obama is pictured looking at with Cameron in 2010.
How could “fact checker” , Dan Pfeiffer get this so wrong?
Sir Charles awaits his apology.