Former staffers in the Obama administration are pushing back against claims from the current White House press secretary that they left notes to incoming Trump administration officials along the lines of “you will fail” and “you aren’t going to make it.”
CNN correspondent Abby D. Phillip tweeted accusations Tuesday from press secretary Stephanie Grisham that Barack Obama’s staff left the nasty comments before leaving the White House in the hands of Donald Trump’s team.
WH Press Sec Stephanie Grisham claims Obama aides left 'you will fail" notes in offices for Trump aides: “We came into the WH, 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,’”
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) November 19, 2019
However, many Obama staffers quickly jumped on Twitter to call B.S. on Grisham’s claim.
This is ridiculous. WH Staff spent countless hours, right up until President Trump Inauguration, preparing memos to facilitate a smooth transition and left notes of encouragement and support for their predecessors. Have to wonder what prompted this outright lie. https://t.co/LG7azNJ72P
— Peter Boogaard (@pboogaard) November 19, 2019
This is another bald faced lie. https://t.co/E1U9KtdL77
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) November 19, 2019
This is a lie. If this happened I also don’t think the entire Trump staff would wait 3 years to tell us. Sad to see the WH press secretary fall this far https://t.co/4JMlk5Ok2J
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) November 19, 2019
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
She's right about one point. I left a note -- tucked away in my desk -- for my successor. I wished him success and encouraged him not to grow jaded despite the pace and obstacles. I also left my personal email in case he wished to seek candid advice.
I never heard from him. https://t.co/KWbzG4yLNI
— Ned Price (@nedprice) 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
I actually left an iPhone charger if anybody’s seen it, but no, nobody left unimaginative notes written at a sixth-grade level. https://t.co/DeaTk5W6wk
— Cody Keenan (@codykeenan) November 19, 2019
100% false. I left a note wishing them good luck serving the American people and offering to be a resource. https://t.co/JMjk0HoExa
— Liz Allen (@LizMarieAllen) November 19, 2019
Some Obama officials made sure to bring the receipts.
This is the note I left my successor. Really dispiriting to hear this from @PressSec, a person with whom I spent a couple amicable hours with during the the 2016 transition where I wished her nothing but institutional knowledge, good luck and all our support. https://t.co/kGb0pa59fp pic.twitter.com/Jtis9TEZK1
— Peter Velz (@petervelz) November 19, 2019
— Joanna/JoJo Rosholm (@jojorosholm) November 19, 2019
After Obama staffers cried foul, Grisham seemed to walk back her comments slightly to Politico.
“I’m not sure where their offices were, and certainly wasn’t implying every office had that issue,” she said. “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 (and honestly) about our experience in the lower press office ― nowhere else.”
She added: “I don’t know why everyone is so sensitive! At the time we saw it as kind of a prank, and something that always happened. We were so busy trying to learn where the bathrooms were and how to turn on the lights, it wasn’t that big of a deal.”
However, former Obama White House staffers didn’t buy that explanation.
I’ve known @joshearnest almost my entire career, and not only are these accusations antithetical to the ethos of the @BarackObama administration, they are also the exact opposite of how teams he leads act—he’d never tolerate that kind of BS https://t.co/gNQo2hMkMV
— Brent Colburn (@cbrentcolburn) November 19, 2019
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.