After lampooning Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer last week for getting his facts wrong on the controversy surrounding the Winston Churchill bust at the White House, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer has apologized.
On Friday, Pfeiffer slammed Krauthammer for repeating “this ridiculous claim” that President Obama had removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy.
It was later discovered, as Jake Tapper reported, that there are actually two Winston Churchill busts. One was loaned to the George W. Bush administration and later returned after Bush left office, the other now resides in the White House.
“I take your criticism seriously and you are correct that you are owed an apology,” Pfeiffer wrote Krauthammer. “There was clearly an internal confusion about the two busts and there was no intention to deceive. I clearly overshot the runway in my post.”
Here is Pfeiffer’s full apology:
The Churchill Bust & Charles Krauthammer
Yesterday following his column, I sent the following email to Charles Krauthammer. Charles asked that I make the email public and I have agreed.
I take your criticism seriously and you are correct that you are owed an apology. There was clearly an internal confusion about the two busts and there was no intention to deceive. I clearly overshot the runway in my post. The point I was trying to make – under the belief that the Bust in the residence was the one previously in the Oval Office– was that this oft repeated talking point about the bust being a symbol of President Obama’s failure to appreciate the special relationship is false. The bust that was returned 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. I still think this is an important point and one I wish I had communicated better.
A better understanding of the facts on my part and a couple of deep breaths at the outset would have prevented this situation. Having said all that, barring a miracle comeback from the Phillies I would like to see the Nats win a world series even if it comes after my apology.