Ex-Obama Aides Hit Back At WH For Odd Claim That They Left Mean Notes For Trump Staffers

Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary, attends the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House on June 21, 2019. (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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November 19, 2019 12:23 p.m.

Nearly three years after President Trump entered office, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has made a new and odd claim about former Obama administration aides.

On Tuesday morning, CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip tweeted that Grisham claimed that “every office was filled with Obama books” and that former Obama aides left notes saying “you will fail” for incoming Trump aides in 2017. Grisham made the remarks during a radio interview at the White House’s USMCA event earlier Tuesday.

Grisham’s outlandish claim quickly garnered the ire of former Obama administration officials and aides, such as former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

A few hours later, Grisham responded to her earlier claim by saying that she was “talking specifically (and honestly) about our experience in the lower press office — nowhere else,” according to a statement obtained by CNN’s Jim Acosta. Grisham added that she doesn’t know “why everyone is so sensitive” about the claim she made.

Just minutes after Grisham’s response to the backlash, former first lady Michelle Obama’s press secretary Jojo Rosholm appeared to respond to the controversy by tweeting a note that she says she left Grisham when she took over as the press secretary to first lady Melania Trump in 2017.

And it wasn’t just former Obama aides who took issue with Grisham’s claim. Echoing Phillips’ sentiment of wondering “why no one has ever mentioned it before,” journalists such as the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and ABC News’ Jonathan Karl expressed their skepticism over why it took almost three years since Trump entered office for Grisham to make the surprising claim:

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