Somehow missed by most of the major media (surprise), there was a discussion this week started by the White House about the bust of Winston Churchill that President Obama gave back to the British when he took office.
The White House Blog posted the following ‘Fact Check’:
Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column. He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”
This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.
Well, it turns out that their fact check is false. In 2009, The Telegraph reported:
The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush’s tenure.
But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Diplomats were at first reluctant to discuss the whereabouts of the Churchill bronze, after its ejection from the seat of American power. But the British Embassy in Washington has now confirmed that it sits in the palatial residence of ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald, just down the road from Vice President Joe Biden’s official residence. It is not clear whether the ambassador plans to keep it in Washington or send it back to London.
So what’s going on? Jake Tapper at ABC News reports:
Like a plot twist in a sitcom, IT TURNS OUT THERE ARE TWO CHURCHILL BUSTS!!!!!
The one in the White House residence was a gift to the White House from the British Embassy during the Johnson administration.
The other one was loaned to President George W. Bush by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
I realize that this is not earth-shaking, but why would the White House bother to lie about something so insignificant? Do these people have any confidence in the ability of the American voter to sort through truth and lies?
I truly question the wisdom of anyone who argues with Charles Krauthammer.