the national interest

White House Claims Obama Left Them Hostile Notes, Which Nobody Has Seen

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham today made a bizarre accusation. “We came into the White House, I’ll tell you something,”she said, according to CNN’s Abby Phillip, “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.’”

It is obviously impossible to prove a negative. Yet her account contains more than a few suspicious details. Forget the notes for a moment. Begin with her claim that every office (that’ a lot of offices!) was filled (it takes a lot of books to fill an office, even using the term “fill” loosely) with Obama books. What is an “Obama book?” A book written by Obama? A book Obama people might want to read?

Then there are the notes. Trump loves promoting the narrative that President Obama left “a mess” for him to clean up, and engineered deep state conspiracies to undermine him starting in 2016. Trump has floated the most bizarre conspiracy theories about Obama sabotage, including the claim that Obama tapped his phones. Trump would be extremely happy to circulate photos of any such “you will fail” notes, and any aid who produced such a note would have instantly become Trump’s momentary favorite. Yet nobody has produced any evidence of these notes, even though they were supposedly left throughout the building.

Reporter Jonathan Karl notes that he was in the White House on January 20, 2017, and saw no sign of either the “Obama book” or the notes. His photos show no sign of either:

So we have an administration known for constant lies making implausible accusation for which it has no evidence despite having a high opportunity and likelihood of having produced some. Sounds legit!

White House: Obama Left Hostile Notes, Which Nobody’s Seen