The PJ Tatler

Bust-ed

Charles Krauthammer catches the Obama White House in a lie regarding the whereabouts of the famous bust of Winston Churchill. Krauthammer takes issue with the post, written by WH spokesman Dan Pfeiffer Friday, that stated that the famous bust which was lent to the US by the UK after 9-11, never even left the White House. The British embassy says it did, when President Obama returned it in January 2009.

In his original post, he had provided photographic proof of his claim that the Oval Office Churchill had never been returned, indeed had never left the White House at all, but had simply been moved from the Oval Office to the residence.

“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,” he wrote. “Hopefully this clears things up a bit and prevents folks from making this ridiculous claim again.”

Except that the photo does nothing of the sort. The Churchill sculpture shown in the photograph is a different copy — given to President Lyndon Johnson, kept in the White House collection for half a century and displayed in the White House residence. The Oval Office Churchill — the one in question, the one Pfeiffer says never left the White House — did leave the White House, was returned to the British government, and sits proudly at this very moment in the British ambassador’s residence.

Was that little photographic switcheroo an honest mistake on ­Pfeiffer’s part? Or was it deliberate deception? I have no idea.

I have an idea, and I’m sure Krauthammer does too but he’d prefer to let the White House explain itself. Again.

The question is, if the White House will lie about such a small matter in such a brazen way, what will it not lie about?