Busted: Dan Pfeiffer's 'Fact Check' about Winston Churchill bust is 100% false

This was not a good day for the “normally serene White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer,” as ABC’s Jake Tapper describes him, to come out of his tiny White House office and make a bold and blatantly false statement regarding the now infamous bust of Winston Churchill that used to reside in the White House Oval Office. Here is what Pfeiffer wrote earlier today:

Lately, there’s been a rumor swirling around about the current location of the bust of Winston Churchill. Some have claimed that President Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy.

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 (sic). In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.

The thing is, when you’re going to write a “fact check” article or blog post, you might want to, you know, check your facts.  We know that this is usually an extremely difficult task for the Obama White House. Thankfully, Twitter user @RBPundit was all over this story and did Dan Pfeiffer’s job for him.

Jake Tapper figured out what is going on.  It turns out there were two Churchill busts in the White House.  One is still there. The other — the one that used to be in the Oval Office, the one which Charles Krauthammer was referring to — has been returned to the British.  To quote Shaggy from Scooby Doo, “ZOINKS!!”

Considering that this had been an international story a few years ago, you’d think that fact-checking wouldn’t be so hard for the White House.

CBS’s Mark Knoller summed it up best.


Later today, Dan Pfeiffer published this addendum to his post:

Since my post on the fact that the bust of Winston Churchill has remained on display in the White House, despite assertions to the contrary, I have received a bunch of questions — so let me provide some additional info. The White House has had a bust of Winston Churchill since the 1960’s. At the start of the Bush administration Prime Minister Blair lent President Bush a bust that matched the one in the White House, which was being worked on at the time and was later returned to the residence.  The version lent by Prime Minister Blair was displayed by President Bush until the end of his Presidency.  On January 20, 2009 — Inauguration Day — all of the art lent specifically for President Bush’s Oval Office was removed by the curator’s office, as is common practice at the end of every presidency.

Pfeiffer doesn’t call it a correction or retraction, but he now seems to concede what Krauthammer contended — namely, that the Churchill bust that was in the Oval Office during the Bush Administration was removed when President Obama came into office. Perhaps this is “a common practice at the end of every presidency,” as Pfeiffer contends, but that is sort of beside the point. Krauthammer’s assertion was factually accurate, as even Mediaite (a left-leaning media website) concedes:

The British Embassy has confirmed thatWashington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer was correct when he wrote that a bust of Winston Churchill was removed from the White House when Barack Obama took office.

So what’s next for Dan Pfeiffer?

We  can all wait for that apology.  But one thing we’ve learned in politics: Never let a good lie get in the way of an apology.

  • illinikevin

    I believe that, according to the Telegraph article about the bust, it was offered to Obama and he refused it. I would like to see one of Thatcher.

    • illinikevin


    • jhorenka

      I would have Eisenhower and Churchill, the two that engineered the destruction of Hitler and the Nazis. And Reagan and Thatcher, the two that put an end to the Soviet Union and freed two billion people from the tyranny of communism…

      • Nunaya Dambizness

        Joe, you sound like my kind of interior decorator – big thumbs up!

      • Mark81150

        agreed.. The Brits and we do our best work together..

      • freeinaz

        Good job Joe.

  • Mark_Trail

    Perfect example of half truth….and We the People always end up with the “wrong half.”

  • $2943864

    Obama needed more room for pictures and busts of himself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1355478961 Tim Woodsome

    Following the first reporting of this incident I wrote to the British Ambasador and appologised for the President’s behavior. I received a very kind and personal response. The English are patient, they know this too will pass.

    • Madame_deFarge

      As did I, Tim. It was horribly embarrassing then. Having witnessed 3+ years of the Obama’s atrocious lack of good manners, etiquette and zero knowledge of protocol, it was the first shot against one of our allies.

    • Mark81150

      I hope day one, Romney respectfully requests that the bust please be returned so it can be placed again in a position of Honor in the White House… They can send Obama’s collection of his own pictures to his library where they can be forgotten along with him.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bill.stratton.18 Bill Stratton

        Romney has made the request for bust of Sir Winston Churchill be returned. This is more than art, but history & friendship.

  • http://twitter.com/SueNC Susan Wright

    DUH! It’s not that Pfeiffer lied. He’s just stupid and uninformed [like the entire Obama administration].

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.turner.35175 John Turner

      Winston WHO?

  • Greg Halvorson

    Another any-means-to-an-end leftist liar…. 11-6-12 ANYBODY?

  • midnightgolfer

    You don’t get to have your spokesperson lie about something and also claim it’s not important. If it’s irrelevant, ignore it, not double down on stupid by lying about it. Take note GOP, so you don’t also end up looking stupid like this, too.

  • GinnyLee

    These people should know that Charles Krauthammer is rarely, if ever, wrong. They pop off at their own peril.

  • Kathryn Dean Drewry

    Seems to me I remember that someone (sorry, don’t remember who it was) offered to allow Obama to keep the bust and he declined and sent it back.

  • maplebob23

    I remember when 0bama came in to office, the Brits offered to let him keep the bust on display but 0 sent it back then gave the Queen an iPod of 0’s greatest hits.

    • Beeta

      He gave her recordings of two of his speeches .He is an egotistical disgrace.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003724503787 James J. Harris

      Narcissum in full and bold blushing bloom.

    • Madame_deFarge

      Yes along with some CD’s or DVD’s that didn’t conform to their system.

    • freeinaz

      I don’t want to offend you, but O does not have any greatest hits, other than that your spot on.

  • George Hardy

    Churchill must have given Obama the creeps, sitting there looking all majestic, noble, confidant; must have really been nerve wracking having someone of principle looking over his work, never knowing when guilt would overcome his sorry excuse for character. And Dan Pfeiffer is an accurate image of the embarrassment the regime in Washington is.

    • Mark81150

      Narcissism can’t tolerate that a greater figure be acknowledged in it’s presence… Obama will always place himself above all else.. including his wife and kids.. if they offered him the presidency for life if only he would dump them in a Haitian refugee camp forever, he’d do it.

    • freeinaz

      Knocked it way out of the park!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lor-Mazz/1060895688 Lor Mazz

    Needed room for the black art.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lor-Mazz/1060895688 Lor Mazz

    Imagine the cleaning job the romneys have when they move into the white house.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.nichols.50 Alexander Nichols

    So Pfeiffer is basically saying that he didn’t even take the time to get the facts. I guess his articles are not worth any person’s time then.

  • http://twitter.com/crimsonwhite s.p. johnson

    All of obama’s White House are liars. It’s sad really.

  • Robert Veite

    A nice accompaniment to the Ipod with Obama speaches on it. Hope he also gave an 8×10 signed photo and a commemorative Obama coin!

  • MikeRios

    Obama was still blaming the British for the torture that never happened to his father(?) and so this was his way of giving them the finger. It didn’t work and showed at the outset what kind of a child Obama really is. I would have made sure that the bust stayed so I could look into the face of a real man reminding me of the responsibility I had to freedom. Obama obviously despises that freedom and so removed a mans bust that reminded him of it.

  • John Gallagher

    Can I get a giant “Who Cares?” my brothers and sisters???

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RUW6EIKWQ2DHBG27IREN3Z7YNQ John Svengali

    How about a bust of Stalin? Much more apropos!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RUW6EIKWQ2DHBG27IREN3Z7YNQ John Svengali

    Me, I like the bust of Dolly Parton.

  • radjahshelduck

    “Is this some kind of bust?”
    “Yes ma’am it’s very impressive.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/pjcitro Paul J. Citro

    This administration is the most arrogant administration in the history of this country.

  • http://twitter.com/Stimulus4U Marty Luther

    Dan Pfeiffer: It’s not true and a Republican rumor that should embarrass anyone who repeats it. Also, it is true and we still have another bust so the one we returned that we didn’t return and which story about was a vicious rumor as I said and so it never happened and when it did happen it was not the one we have a picture of that isn’t the one we returned that Bush had its a rumor. Vicious. Republican. erp, blah, gackkk.

  • davod

    The truth doesn’t matter (Alinsky). If one newspaper files a story the Dems can quote the newspaper as saying Churchill’s bust never left the White House.

  • Kathy King

    Nice. A WH communications director who doesn’t understand the appropriate use of an apostrophe.

  • BeeKaaay

    PRESENTdent Urkel needed room for a bust of Karl Marx.

    • freeinaz

      Lenin and Mao too.

      • BeeKaaay

        and George Soros, Saul AlinsKKKy :)

  • Mark81150

    The same president who gave the queen copies of his own best speeches… as a gift.

    I guess he thought somebody else had to worship him, like he does himself.

  • http://twitter.com/Stimulus4U Marty Luther

    How about a nice bust of Chamberlain instead, Mr. Obama?

  • http://twitter.com/trwtommy Tommy Trouble

    Charles is being disingenuous at best, as most on here are. The way he couched his comment made it sound like the President was giving the British the middle finger, didn’t you Charles? That’s worse than lying Charles.

    • http://twitter.com/RealLarryBaron Larry Baron

      It was exactly like giving the British the finger. How would you feel if you gave a gift to someone and their child gave it back after they passed? It was a major insult from an American President to the British people in general.

  • BeeKaaay


    The Obama regime will do anything to distract the political conversation away from the horrible economy. Look! Winston Churchill bust! Talk about that! Over and over.

    C’mon people, get the political discussion back on the #1 weakness of PRESENTdent Urkel: the horrible economy.

  • http://twitter.com/plaidgramma Sue Eppard

    Nothing like “an informed citizenry”.

  • Dave Schauweker

    Hmm. What with K.’s
    no-doubt-justified INTENSE RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION over this no doubt VERY IMPORTANT matter, one assumes K.’s surname is a very
    common one in England? But then, why is it
    the British in general seem to love Obama and detest Romney?

  • jsn2

    Typical of Obama advisors, Pfeiffer is an arrogant dumba$$. Secure in his feeling of omniscience, he can’t believe anyone could know something that he doesn’t. At least he high self esteem.

  • MGmary

    Churchill was PM in the 50’s when the Brits fought the Mau Mau’s in Kenya. That’s why O doesn’t like him

  • http://twitter.com/radioman_abq Mark McNeil

    I doubt the second bust has been on display outside the treaty room in the residence since the time of Nixon. When was the second bust placed there?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.w.bailey.5 Mark W. Bailey

    this does not interest me, but I have great respect for Charles Krauthammer, and nobody should call him a liar

  • LaSantaHermandad

    Fact Check? Dey doan need no steenking fact checks!
    They are quite confident that the Obamazoids will immediately believe whatever they are told by the White House. Next week they’ll be claiming that Bush gave it back.

  • freeinaz

    This is the ONLY thing that this regime can do right and that is lie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dram57 David Ramos

    He replaced it with a bust of che.