Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham claims Obama aides left nasty notes like 'you will fail' for incoming White House staff
Grisham told a Virginia radio station that Obama officials had left some nasty messages for them at White House. However, she did not have any evidence to back her claims. Former administrative officials call it a blatant lie.
Donald Trump's press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, recently told a radio presenter that some of former President Barack Obama's aides had left discouraging notes for their successors that read stuff like “You will fail” and “You aren’t going to make it”.
Speaking to the host of a Virginia-based radio station in an interview at the White House on Tuesday, November 19, Grisham claimed that those notes were found. She even said the office cabinets were filled with books penned by the former Democratic president.
“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, who succeeded Sarah Sanders as the press secretary in July this year after serving as the press secretary to First Lady Melania Trump, said.
'And they had filled, they had filled the—' Grisham added, before ending abruptly.
The 42-year-old official later confirmed the same to Daily Mail.
Grisham's claims created a buzz on the social media and seven former West Wing aides, all of whom had come to the White House after the Trump presidency took off on January 20, 2017, confirmed that they too had heard about it.
“It was a mess that first week. 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,” the Mail quoted one of them as saying.
One of those aides even alleged that the departing administration had left Russian vodka for them in the cabinet.
When asked why the members of the new administration had not taken photographs of the notes left behind, the answer was that they were more busy adjusting to their new roles.
Former Obama administration officials hit back at Grisham
While the alleged notes could not be traced, officials from the previous administration said the claims were outright lies. Former national security adviser Susan Rice said on Twitter: “This is another bald faced lie”. Former senior director of the National Security Council Jon Wolfsthal tweeted saying it was an “outrageous lie”. "I know. I handed over the nuclear office at the (National Security Council). Shameless and disgusting," he said, adding that Grisham should be fired for making such allegations.
This is another bald faced lie. https://t.co/E1U9KtdL77— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) November 19, 2019
Josh Earnest, who had served as the third and final press secretary of Obama’s White House between 2014 and 2017, said, as per a photograph obtained by NBC News, that he had backed his successor and the first press secretary of the Trump White House, Sean Spicer. He told Spicer that he was selected for his “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,” he wrote.
Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, challenged Grisham to produce the notes. Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau called it “appalling” that Grisham thought the outgoing administration’s messages would be “that lame”.
Produce the notes that back this up. I cannot imagine a single one of my former colleagues who would do this. From @BarackObama on down, we all tried to help facilitate a smooth and orderly transition just as President Bush and his team had done for us. https://t.co/tjY3zGdRX8— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) November 19, 2019
It's appalling that she thinks our notes would have been that lame. https://t.co/EZWFZYBgDA— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) November 19, 2019
Grisham later softened her stand
Grisham, however, softened her stand later after her claims attracted reactions. In a statement issued to the media later, she said that she didn’t mean to say that the notes were left in every office of the White House but in a press area. She said she also had a “lovely note” waiting for her in the East Wing from a woman and she even thanked her. She said the bad experience she was talking about was limited in the lower press office and wondered why people were “so sensitive”.
“At the time we saw it as kind of a prank, and something that always happened,” she added.