Hey, Stephanie -- pics or it didn't happen.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed on Tuesday that departing former aides to President Barack Obama left notes saying "you will fail" and "you aren't going to make it" for the incoming staff of Donald Trump.
Former Obama aides quickly denied Grisham's claim, reacting to a tweet from a CNN reporter that Grisham had said during an earlier radio interview, "Every office was filled with Obama books and we had notes left behind that said 'you will fail,' 'you aren't going to make it.'"
Stephanie Grisham told a Virginia radio host at the White House on Tuesday about finding the notes, and office cabinets brimming with Obama-authored books.
'We came into the White House—I'll tell you something, every office was filled with Obama books. And we had notes left behind that said "You will fail," "You aren't going to make it." And in the press office, there was a big note taped to a door that said, "You will fail",' Grisham said.
'And they had filled, they had filled the—' Grisham continued, before cutting herself off.
She told DailyMail.com after the broadcast that Obama aides had left cabinets in the press office 'filled' with books by President Obama. And one particular 'You will fail' note, she said, was taped to the inside of one of those cabinet doors.
Obama staffers called this out as a lie, and produced copies of very nice notes they left behind (while Grisham produced no evidence whatsoever):
One senior Obama aide who once held Grisham's job wrote to his successor that he was rooting for him, according to a photograph obtained by NBC News. Obama White House press secretary Josh Earnest left a note for Sean Spicer, Trump's first press secretary, telling him that his selection by Trump for the role was "a credit to your skills and work ethic."
“And, because your work is essential to the success of our democracy, it is not hard for me to set aside my political views, and genuinely root for you to success in this role,” Earnest wrote.
— Joanna/JoJo Rosholm (@jojorosholm) November 19, 2019
But Martosko claims to have witnesses who back up Grisham's story.
Former former West Wing aides, all of whom came to the White House at the beginning of the Trump administration, told DailyMail.com after the broadcast first created a buzz on Twitter that they recalled hearing about it on day one.
'It was a mess that first week,' one recalled Tuesday. 'Yeah, there were mean notes left in odd places. One in a deputy press secretary's office, one inside a desk drawer in upper press, another on a bathroom mirror. They were all about how we were doomed to failure.'
Asked why no one saved photos of the notes, another aide who worked in the West Wing at the time said the staff was frantically trying to adjust to their new offices and new roles, and 'it didn't make the top 20 list of things we were thinking about.'
A third said after this story was first published: 'Those notes definitely happened. They even left us Russian vodka in the cabinet.'
'They were trolling us from the minute we got there. It was definitely just ridiculous. We were trying to find the bathroom, and we get these notes saying "You will fail," and "You're not going to make it".'
Who are these people? Do they really exist? Please note that all of the quotes are anonymous. If this really happened, why wouldn't any of these people allow Martosko to use their names?
And never mind the obvious point: that the Trumpers aren't exactly shrinking violets and are a highly unlikely to have refrained from mentioning this for three years out of a sense of gentility and decorum.
Grisham ultimately did a walkback, albeit with a new swipe at her critics:
Grisham clarified to NBC News that she didn't mean to suggest that the notes were left in every White House office, only in a press area.
"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 fact, 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!"
Oh, I see: not wanting to be publicly slandered is being "sensitive."
Martosko's story includes this quote from Grisham's radio interview:
'I fully intend when we leave in, you know, six years—I fully intend to leave a note in my [succeessor's] drawer, you know, saying, "Good luck to you",' Grisham said. 'I don't care if it's a Dem or a Republican. You're serving your country. It's the highest honor in the world.'
I'm sure that's the biggest lie of all. So much of Republicans' toxic partisanship is projection that I imagine the most graceless presidential transition of all time will be from the Trumpers to the next president, assuming he or she is a Democrat. These folks really will leave obnoxious notes in drawers, and sabotage office equipment (as Clintonites were reported to have done before George W. Bush's team moved in). I don't think any Trump books will be left behind, but I bet there'll be lots and lots of dank Trump memes printed up at maximum size and posted throughout the White House.
Members of the Biden/Warren/Buttigieg administration: Expect to see massive copies of this, and worse, hanging in your offices on January 20, 2021.
Published with permission of No More Mr. Nice Blog