White House press secretary struggles to keep all her stories straight

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Stephanie Grisham has backtracked on two major claims in just two days.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham's already strained credibility took another big hit this week as she was forced to backtrack on two major claims in a 48-hour period.

Hours after leveling serious charges against former Obama administration officials on Tuesday, she significantly dialed back her accusation.

"We came into the White House — I'll tell you something — every office was filled with Obama books, and we had notes left behind that said 'You will fail, you aren't going to make it,'" Grisham claimed in a radio interview. "In the press office, there was a big note taped to the door that said, 'You will fail.'"

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Several former Obama staffers shared pictures on Tuesday of the nice notes they had left, and five senior officials present on the first day of the Trump administration reportedly said they never saw or heard of any notes like the ones Grisham mentioned.

By Tuesday evening, Grisham had shifted her story from "every office" to merely one office.

"I'm not sure where their offices were, and certainly wasn't implying every office had that issue," Grisham said in a press statement. "I was talking specifically (and honestly) about our experience in the lower press office — nowhere else. I don't know why everyone is so sensitive!"

Grisham also said she personally had received "a lovely note left" and minimized her earlier charges as "not a big deal" and something that was seen as "kind of a prank, and something that always happened."

On Saturday, Donald Trump took an unscheduled visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for medical tests. Grisham's initial statements described this as nothing more than part of his "routine annual physical exam" being done on a "free weekend here in Washington, D.C." in anticipation of "a very busy 2020."
Trump had his last annual examination back in February and this weekend's visit reportedly did not follow the protocol for a routine visit. While Walter Reed medical staff typically get a general alert prior to a presidential visit that a VIP is coming, CNN reported that that did not happen on Saturday, "indicating the visit was a non-routine visit and scheduled last minute."
Still, Grisham scolded those suggesting the administration might be being less than truthful about the visit, denouncing "irresponsible/dangerous rumors."

On Monday, Grisham released a memo from Trump's physician, now claiming that it was actually "a routine, planned interim checkup as part of the regular, primary preventative care he receives throughout the year." He noted that he is "planning on a more comprehensive examination after the New Year."

Jennifer Peña, Mike Pence's former physician, told CNN that the "interim checkup" and "annual physical" characterizations are very different.
"Routine annual is where we do a comprehensive history and physical exam, with any necessary labs and studies," she said, while an "interim checkup" is a follow up visit to monitor an ongoing condition or medication.

Trump's administration has had credibility problems from day one, when then-press secretary Sean Spicer falsely claimed that the inaugural crowd was the "largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period." As of last month, Trump himself has made at least 13,435 false or misleading claims since taking office, contradicting his 2016 campaign pledge to never lie to the American people.

Published with permission of The American Independent.