Obama aides reject White House claim they left 'you will fail' notes behind

Former Obama administration officials on Tuesday rejected a claim from White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamIvana Trump on Melania as first lady: 'She's very quiet, and she really doesn't go to too many places' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump uses White House as campaign backdrop Coronavirus tests not required for all Melania Trump speech attendees: report MORE that some left discouraging notes behind in the White House for Trump administration officials to find.

Several staffers from the Obama White House responded on Twitter to dismiss Grisham's claim that they left notes reading "you will fail" as "100% false" and "absolutely not true."

"This is another bald faced lie," former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice responded on Twitter. 

Chris Lu, who served as Obama's Cabinet secretary, noted the former administration had pledged to cooperate with its successors and questioned why it took three years for someone to make such a claim.

Grisham told one news outlet during a White House event intended to promote the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that "every office was filled with Obama books" and notes that read "you will fail" and "you're not going to make it." 

ADVERTISEMENT

Amid the flurry of pushback from Obama aides, Grisham clarified her comment to claim she was referring specifically to the lower press office.

"In fact, I had a lovely note left for me in the East Wing, and I tracked the woman down and thanked her," she said in a statement to The Hill. "I was talking specifically about our experience in the lower press office — nowhere else." 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I don’t know why everyone is so sensitive!" Grisham added. "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."

Liz Allen, a former communications staffer for the Obama White House, said she "left a note wishing them good luck serving the American people and offering to be a resource." 

Graham Bookie, a former National Security Council staffer, tweeted that he was in "the last motorcade" leaving the White House before President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE took over and called Grisham's claim "not true."

"The transition period was thorough & nonpolitical," he said. "It was a huge priority & based on the professional transition from 43 to 44."

 

 

Cody Keenan, a former Obama speechwriter, quipped that advice from Obama staffers may have been useful.

"I mean, if they read the 'how to do your job' memos and briefing books we actually left, they’d at least know how to write a coherent speech, vet their appointees, and maybe fewer of them would be indicted or heading to jail," he tweeted.