Boris is Right: White House Did Return Churchill Bust

Boris is coming in for heavy criticism for writing that a bust of Winston Churchill was removed from the White House and returned to the British embassy when Obama took office. Sky News’ Faisal Islam reports that Boris’ claim is “not true”, the Guardian say it has been “debunked”. They point to this White House statement and photo from 2012 showing Obama and Cameron inspecting a Churchill bust in the private residence of the White House, outside the Treaty room:

Yet that statement was pure spin…

As the Telegraph revealed four years ago, there were originally two matching busts of Churchill by Jacob Epstein in the White House. The one referred to in the White House statement does indeed remain in place. Yet when Obama took over from Bush, the second bust was moved to the residence of Sir Peter Westmacott, who was then Britain’s ambassador to the US. The White House were forced to admit that they had indeed returned the bust. Boris is proven right…

UPDATE: The British Embassy claim it was Obama’s decision:

“It was lent for the first term of office of President Bush. When the President was elected for his second and final term, the loan was extended until January 2009. The new President has decided not to continue this loan.”

UPDATE II: Obama just confirmed at the joint press conference with Camaeron that it was his decision to remove the Oval Office Churchill bust and replace it with one of Martin Luther King. Yet in 2012 White House comms director Dan Pfieffer insisted:

“The bust that was returned as a matter of course with all the other artwork that had been loaned to President Bush for display in his Oval Office and not something that President Obama or his Administration chose to do”

Obama has just exposed his spinner telling a straight lie…


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Emmanuel Macron comes over all euro-sceptic…

“We ended the day on what we can call a failure. It’s a very bad image we are giving of the Council and Europe, no one can be satisfied with what happened over so many hours. Our credibility is profoundly tainted with these meetings that are too long and lead to nothing, we give an image of Europe that isn’t serious. We cannot hold talks with world leaders, in an ever more violent world, and be a club that meets at 28 without ever deciding anything.”

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