THE DETAILS DON’T ADD UP
by Sharon Rondeau
This afternoon at 1:16 p.m., Mark Knoller of CBS News tweeted, “Pres Obama spent better part of 2 hrs this morning playing basketball at FBI gym. Now back at WH.” At which FBI gym did Obama allegedly play? Where was the Secret Service?
Obama reportedly declared the Commonwealth of Virginia a disaster area today from severe storms “a few weeks ago,” but from where the statement was made is unknown.
His weekly radio/internet address was broadcast as it is every Saturday, but it is pre-recorded.
An email purportedly from the British Embassy in Washington, DC stated:
Please see our below public statement regarding the bust(s). If you have further questions please refer them to our Press Secretary James Barbour 202-588-6595.
We prefer any quote be attributed to a “British Embassy spokesperson” :
“The bust of Sir Winston Churchill, by Sir Jacob Epstein, was lent to the George W Bush administration from the UK’s Government Art Collection, for the duration of the Presidency. When that administration came to an end so did the loan; the bust now resides in the British Ambassador’s Residence in Washington DC. The White House collection has its own Epstein bust of Churchill, which President Obama showed to Prime Minister Cameron when he visited the White House in March.
That’s not really what’s important here. Both President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron have repeatedly underlined that our two countries remain the closest of allies. The Churchill Bust story is a silly diversion – let’s get on and focus on seeing who wins most medals in the Olympics.”
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, whose photo also appears next to the long-form birth certificate on the White House website, alleging its authenticity, claimed that the bust of Sir Winston Churchill “[is] still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.” Then the story about there being two busts of Churchill emerged, allegedly from the British Embassy. Pfeiffer wrote his post while Mitt Romney was visiting Great Britain and said that he would like to return the bust of Churchill if he is elected president in November.
The email from the British Embassy refers to Cameron’s visiting the United States in March, but the photo shown on Pfeiffer’s blog post refers to the date of July 20, 2010.
Pfeiffer claimed that the birth certificate was “a fake issue,” but Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio says it is “definitely fraudulent” and has asked Congress to investigate.
Is it likely that a spokesperson from the British Embassy would editorialize and tell Americans while a guest in their country, “That’s not really what’s important here. Both President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron have repeatedly underlined that our two countries remain the closest of allies. The Churchill Bust story is a silly diversion – let’s get on and focus on seeing who wins most medals in the Olympics.”
Is there something strange about the photo which purports to show British Prime minister David Cam eron and Obama peering at a bust of Sir Winston Churchill?
The relationship between Great Britain and the United States was not in question; rather, Pfeiffer’s truthfulness or lack thereof was. Following the press coverage of Pfeiffer’s misstatements, he was forced to issue an update which continues to insist that columnist Charles Krauthammer was incorrect in asserting that the bust of Churchill had been returned to Great Britain. Like everyone else in the media, Krauthammer had relied upon the reports of major media regarding the return of the bust in February 2009, including the British press.
On July 27, ABC News reported that President Nixon had acquired a bust of Churchill in apparent agreement with the purported statement from the British Embassy that there had been two Churchill busts. Obama had reportedly decided to return the bust before he entered the White House, and no one contradicted the statement by the White House curator William Allman then. It was also reported to have been replaced by someone with the last name of “King,” not Lincoln, as Pfeiffer claims. CBS News reported:
Some Britons took offense when Winston Churchill’s bust was replaced with King’s. But the decision to return the Churchill bust to the British – it had been presented by former Prime Minister Tony Blair to Bush on loan – had been made before Obama even arrived.
“It was already scheduled to go back,” Allman said.
Pfeiffer now claims that “The White House has had a bust of Winston Churchill since the 1960’s.” On Fox News last evening, Krauthammer accepted the premise that there were two busts of Churchill. But were there?