Update at the end of this piece
Again, I must award our highest Pinocchio rating, this time to Mr. Dan Pfeiffer, Obama spokesperson. He not only lied, he lied with gusto.
Obama was no sooner in the White House when he sent the bust of Winston Churchill back to the British, an insulting gesture. The bust was on loan and sat in the Oval office.
Obama’s father didn’t like the colonialism of the British and that is often cited as a possible reason for Obama’s behavior.
Charles Krauthammer, in his syndicated column, brought up the fact that Obama sent the bust back upon becoming President.
Obama’s mouthpiece, Dan Pfieffer, took umbrage with Krauthammer and said that it was not sent back and it is in the Treaty Room. (As it turns out there is another bust, one that was not sent back.)
The one in the Oval Office was sent back and the British were offended.
Part of Mr. Pfeiffer’s original statement follows and it is patently false –
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 . . .
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.”
In case these news reports are not enough for Mr. Krauthammer and others, here’s a picture of the President showing off the Churchill bust to Prime Minister Cameron when he visited the White House residence in 2010.
The British responded to Pfeiffer and said that the bust was indeed returned. It now sits in the British Embassy in the U.S.
Oops! Pfeiffer’s bad. He had to take his statements back –
Since my post on the fact that the bust of Winston Churchill has remained on display in the White House, despite assertions to the contrary, I have received a bunch of questions — so let me provide some additional info. The White House has had a bust of Winston Churchill since the 1960’s.
At the start of the Bush administration Prime Minister Blair lent President Bush a bust that matched the one in the White House, which was being worked on at the time and was later returned to the residence. The version lent by Prime Minister Blair was displayed by President Bush until the end of his Presidency. On January 20, 2009 — Inauguration Day — all of the art lent specifically for President Bush’s Oval Office was removed by the curator’s office, as is common practice at the end of every presidency. The original Churchill bust remained on display in the residence.
The idea put forward by Charles Krauthammer and others that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false and an urban legend that continues to circulate to this day.
Pfeiffer admits that the bust was returned but now he’s saying it wasn’t because of any antipathy. Why was it sent back then and why should we believe a word he says?
Charles Krauthammer’s article explaining the situation can be read here.
Update: 20:24: USA Today reports that Dan Pfeiffer apologized to Charles Krauthammer today and said there was “confusion.”