RNC maps out White House foul
July 18th, 2011
10:57 PM ET
3 years ago

RNC maps out White House foul

Washington (CNN)-It's never too early to play hardball presidential politics. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus penned a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for an investigation of an "apparent crime" committed by President Barack Obama Monday.

According to Priebus, the crime was committed by the president, in the Map Room, with a video.

Priebus accused the president of recording a fundraising appeal in the Map Room of the White House. He said it is "not part of the White House residence, but rather 'occupied in the discharge of official duties,'" and called for the Department of Justice to investigate.

The Map Room is located on the ground floor of the White House.

"According to multiple individuals with knowledge of the White House's rooms and layout, the video appears to have been recorded in the Map Room...the White House Counsel has indicated that the video was filmed somewhere in the residential portion of the White House," Priebus said.

It is illegal to solicit contributions for a political purpose from any area of the White House "occupied in the discharge of official duties," or, used for purposes of official White House business.

But the Map Room is considered to be part of the White House residence, and has been for decades. The residence is not subject to restrictions placed on rooms used for official business.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz told CNN, "As we've said in the past, this was wholly appropriate and routinely done in past administrations."

"Many lawyers and experts have all said publicly that what this administration is doing is completely above board," Schultz fired back.

Despite the RNC's claims, both Republican and Democratic administrations have considered the Map Room as part of the White House residence.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Reince Priebus • RNC • White House
soundoff (540 Responses)
  1. MSfromCA

    GOP – stop playing silly games and get off your cans. Here is wild idea- rather than trying to make the DEMs look bad, try making yourselves look good. If you compromise with the DEMs on things like the debt ceiling, you won't need the tea party and independents might actually vote for you.

    July 19, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Jack

    And you know what? Obama was smoking in a non-smoking area. And you know what? He had glass of beer while on the job. And you know what? He went on vacation for two weeks last year. Man, this guy is breaking the laws and rules left and right. Impeachable offenses? Gee, I kind of miss the birthers. At least they foamed at the mouth.

    July 19, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Pete

    The GOP's best chance to win the next election is to make sure that America DOES NOT recover. Think about where their interests are. The worse off we're off the better their chances of getting power. Wonder why there is no deal yet? They had no problem for 6 years of rubber stamping all of Bush and Cheney's wishes. They ran up $6 TRILLION of our debt and not a peep out of them. Now they play these games while our nation's future hangs in the balance. I am disgusted!

    July 19, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. REG in AZ

    It is time to brush aside the smokescreen of deceptive rhetoric and to face the reality of their actions. There really is no doubt that their appeals to emotions, to fears, biases and prejudices as well as to our loyalties and self-interests can simply victimize us. Our only clue to what is actually true is found in the consistency of their actions. And the first reality, is that there simply is no perfect choice; they all have their faults and are really imperfect as they all fall short of our expectations and of their promises. So what does reality tell us?

    The last eleven plus years tells us a whole lot about the focus of the Republican Party. With their aggressive and deceptive campaigning, demonstrating a total absence of any conscience, while being completely focused on their political ambitions and on catering to Special Interests and the powerful, influential and extremely wealthy few who strongly support them, providing both substantial finances and aggressive overt and covert backing, and who then greatly benefit, they just leave no doubt. Bush-Cheney made all of that absolutely clear and since then the Republican Party’s concentration on blocking all reforms, protecting Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy as well as the concessions to oil companies and always advocating giving more to the limited few at the top, while faulting the Democrats and offering nothing real, clearly establishes their loyalty and priorities. Bush-Cheney totally verified that the “trickle down” theory is a complete fraud intended only to make the wealthy wealthier and to solicit political support. No where in there is there any consideration for the people, definitely not for the total middle class as has been constantly proven by the continually growing gap between them and the very wealthy, who are always dynamically gaining under the Republicans as everyone else looses.

    The Democrats are not all “pure and holy” by any means and being too liberal is really not good but there is a drastic difference today that is really dynamic and very costly. One immediate recognition should be that the Republicans, even more than the Democrats, rely heavily on subterfuge and deception to provide them the ability to con and manipulate public opinion. Who could doubt this after witnessing the bazaar antics, done without any reservation of a conscience, by Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, others and even with the presentations by Bachmann, Kyl, Cantor, Boehner and McConnell. Everything always being intended to emotionally excite and sway the public, without regard for truth or anything other than their political ambitions.

    What really substantiates all of this and exists simply because of the difference in Republican v Democratic ideologies, causing the Republicans to be more susceptible, is that the Republicans are literally owned and controlled by “big money”. To doubt that denies the obvious reality of their actions and would indicate that someone is either being naively ignorant or blindly biased. We have seen “big money” under the guise of “ultra conservative” pour their strong support and substantial money into backing the Republicans and striving to effectively control and manipulate public opinion. We saw it with the manipulation of the Christian block, with the Swift-boat propaganda and now with the Tea Party extremes, all being well designed, well financed and well organized efforts to excite and manipulate public opinion just to favor the Republicans, who as “puppets” serve the interests of those few who “pull their strings”. We even see the forced unity of the Republican representatives, achieved by the intimidation from those like Norquist’s “Anti-Tax pledge” who actually brag they can make or break candidates, with that effectively squelching any individual consciences. It would be ridiculous not to see that these extensive and costly efforts are not for the good of the people and rather, as intended, just serve the interests of the few. The costs to the majority have been significant and always will be.

    The only way to regain the Grand Ole Party that has a conscience for the people is to break their tie to and dependency on “big money”, to encourage them to stop their concentrated service only to the few as they continually take the majority for granted, is by firmly and totally rejecting what they have become. The Democrats aren’t perfect and they must continually be pressured to do better but ... the Republicans have become totally ridiculous and with their strong supporters, who they are totally subordinate to, they just strive to use and abuse the public. The question is, are the people going to continue to be their “pawns” or refuse to be duped and manipulated and instead take back control? ... or are we just to be returned to ‘more of the same’, Bush-Cheney style, that cost us so much (reality is that is their goal)?

    July 19, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. ep_vet

    Silly article and silly assertion by the RNC.

    By the way, does anyone remember that we are reaching the debt limit and will be effectively bankrupt in a few weeks?

    Can we solve that problem first and THEN go back to petty partisan bickering about nothing?

    July 19, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Steve

    The GOP is pathetic. Check out the photo: Priebus has a deer caught in the headlight look because he knows what's coming next year.

    July 19, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Marc Litton

    This is what I wrote to Mr. Priebus, let's see if he responds. . . I am not holding my breath:
    From: Marc Litton [mailto:tmlitton@gmail.com]
    Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 5:03 PM
    To: 'Chairman@gop.com'
    Subject: Your Call for an Investigation of President Obama's Video

    Chairman Reince Priebus,
    Your call for the investigation of President Obama, as outlined in your letter sent to A.G. Holder today, relating to the video President Obama made about a dinner with the President and V.P Biden is just plain stupid. While you advocate a sharp reduction in federal spending with respect to the current debt ceiling negotiations, you want the DOJ to spend unnecessarily to satisfy your silly and false accusation that President Obama has acted criminally with regarding the dinner video. Specifically, you say:
    “The video appears to have been recorded in the Map Room. . . [and] [i]f President Obama recorded the video in the Map Room, then it appears he has committed a crime under federal law.” Wrong.
    A number of ethics lawyers in Washington have affirmed the legality of the video and the White House has maintained for years, and not just under President Obama, that the Map Room is part of the president’s personal residence, not subject to Title 18, Section 607.

    Let’s face it, you and your party are simply wrong and hypocritical to boot. Why didn’t you call for this kind of investigation when past Republican presidents used the Map Room for campaign functions? And why do you say we need to reduce unnecessary spending in order to get out of our pending economic disaster, yet advocate for ridiculous unnecessary expenditures of public funds on a useless and pointless investigation of President Obama? I think the answer may be that you and your party believe that this president, because of his unique ethnic background, is not worthy of the same respect and treatment as any previous president. However, regardless of my opinion of your secretly held motivations, the fact remains that the DOJ needs all of it available resources to combat terrorists and real criminals, not law-abiding presidents. May the Democrats take the House back from your silly, childish party so we can get our economy back to making America a better place for all Americans, not just the Republicans’ favored few.

    Sincerely, Marc Litton

    July 19, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. M.K.

    The Repukelicans will destroy the economy of this country and when it has gone down the tubes, they will blame it on Jimmy Carter or the Democrats in general like they have done every time something goes wrong. Where was the outrage when Reagan, Bush1 and Bush 2 were spending outrageous amounts of tax payers money on tax breaks for the millionaire and billionaire Republicans? Where was the outrage when Bush spent a trillion dollars invading Iraq for no reason except he thought Saddam Hussien was a bad man. Well, there are a lot of bad men in the world, not the least of which is the head daddy in China where we are spending money like drunk sailors. Wal Mart would go belly up if they were not buying all their goods from China and other slave labor countries. So would Home Depot, Lowe's, Target and all the other big box stores. To hell with all Repukelicans and the elephant they rode in on. While I am on the subject, who bought off Lou Dobbs and his crusade against communist China?

    July 19, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Frank

    "We're losing the debate on the debt ceiling. Quick! Distract the media with a manufactured story!"

    July 19, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    The Taliban needs to begin a multitude of hearings and investigative conferences to get to the bottom of this.

    July 19, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. truthsayer2

    Interesting to see CNN saying categorically that this is part of the residence when there appears to be some confusion on the issue. Thank you, CNN, for clarifying that point for all of us. As always, you are the font of all knowledge and wisdom.

    July 19, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. 60minuteman

    If we're going to start investigating presidents again, (remember "impeach Clinton"), we should start with the bush/cheney regime. Lot's of stuff there that Obama "just said no" to. I could list them but not enough space here...

    July 19, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Dave

    Why can't the Republicans make better use of thier time?This mudsling and bad mouthing the President at every turn is quite old.If they have better solutions the American people want to here it.Oh, I guess the have cut Medicare and Social Security for middle and low income Americans so large corporations and the rich can keep thier tax breaks.Why would any American vote Republican they want to the reduce the deficit on the backs low and middle income americans.This country will be in sad shape if the Republicans take control.The rich will get richer and everyone else will get poorer.WAKE UP AMERICA IT IS TIME TO STOP BELIEVING ALL THE LIES AND HALF TRUTHS THE REPUBLICAN SPOUNTING OFF!!!!

    July 19, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Steve/NC

    This proves (again) that the Repubs can not stand that we have an African-American President in the White House. They said it early on that they will do everything they can to make Obama a one-term President. Well, I have news for you, Repubs. In 2012 you will find out what the American people really want, and it's not you. so you might as well stop all this Tea Party business and act like grownups.

    July 19, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Paul ny http://www.youtube.com/ny007ny

    wow. I mean we all know the Republicans are desperate but this is wacky even for them.

    July 19, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Carl

    Really now! This is hitting below the belt. The RNC needs to do better than this. It just goes to prove that they are out to get the President.

    July 19, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. tom

    Agreed, Democrats are brain dead but Obama and his kind will use every dirty trick in the book to stay in power. Not only do they try to strong arm the average American taxpayer and every turn, they use the official office of the people to solicit funds for reelection, which is basically what a bully does. But what can you expect from those democratic thugs from Chicago.

    July 19, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. valwayne

    Our Chicago Way White House has engaged in so much waste, corruption, and sleazy deal making that surely the Republicans can do better than filming a commercial in the Map Room of the White House? Guys for better or worse Obama live in the White House. Stop the petty harrassment and go after the real stuff!

    July 19, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. FortWorthTX

    Hey, ya'll. This guy succeeded in what he was trying to do. The time and effort (including mine, of course) spent on this blog COULD HAVE been spent writing letters to Congressmen and Senators about how reckless they are being with our country over the debt ceiling!

    July 19, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. WhyoWHY

    Looks like the rednecks are getting desperate. Their uneducated sheep are going to eat this up and become enraged as Mr. Obama is now a Criminal born in Kenya. Have never in 60 years seen the GOP become so slug like.

    July 19, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. nytw

    Always good to see people worrying about something important. Wouldn't want to be doing something about two warr

    July 19, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. Marie MD

    I think rince pribus is thinking of the foul odor emaneting from that fire in the belly most rethugs seem to have because that is the only reason why sitting around their own putrid smell can make us understand what other stupid excuse they ae going to use to go after the President.
    Where were they all when the shrub and his vp from hell were killing Americans with a phony war or torturing prisoners? Oh yeah, right, it was the rethugs after all :(

    July 19, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. Bob

    Dr. King said: "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

    This statement means that in judging other men, skin color should be ignored–that it should not be a factor in evaluating their competence or moral stature. It follows that skin color should not be a factor in taking actions toward other people, e.g., hiring and admitting to universities.

    We elected a man into office whose political career can be summed up in one word : "present."

    We elected a man into office- having ignored the fact that he's friends with terrorists, anti-white Nation of Islamists, and preachers that call on God to d*** America. These aren't just acquaintences, either. These are friends our president sought out and maintained close relationships with- though he was forced to distance himself from them during the campaign.
    Why would we want a president in office who sympathizes with terrorists? Yah, that helps me sleep better at night.

    We elected a man into office whose wife has openly declared America to be a "downright mean country." Nice. And of course he has to go and chime in and call good Americans "bitter Americans clinging to their guns and religion." How quaint.

    We elected a president who filled his cabinet with the very people his own VP accused of being unAmerican- cause ya know it's "patriotic to pay taxes," of course unless you're on the right team. How patriotic.

    We have a man in office who lacks decorum in formal meetings- embarrassing the US with ill-prepared gifts to our closest ally's prime minister. I'm sure Mr Brown just treasures that DVD set. And don't forget the Queen- I'm sure she listens to those precious speeches every day! Tacky, much??

    We have a president who promised his fainting and leg-tingling followers: "no more earmarks" (except for that earmarkulus bill he ramrodded through Congress), and "total transparency"- except we have to go to the drudge report to find out what they're up to next, and other nifty little platitudes that have conveniently been tucked away.

    We elected a man hailed as a great orator- except for the fact that he's so addicted to the teleprompter he's read other guests' speeches. MLK Jr ought to be rolling in his grave.

    July 19, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Drogo, who bit the dust

    Reince Priebus – take out all the vowels and you get RNC PR BS.

    Posted by another blogger on another post, but it is priceless.

    July 19, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Bob

    Same old GOP - always crying "wolf" until you can't believe a word they say. Is there literally nothing about which they refuse to lie? Absolutely no standards whatsoever - no shame?

    But more importantly - do they actually think that most Americans buy this sort of stuff? Maybe the first time they could get away with it, but by this point the American people trust the GOP about as far as they can throw the lot of them. You can fool people for a while, but...liars always end up being outed for what they are.

    I really think we're seeing the death of the Republican Party - and as a lifelong conservative, it kills me. They've taken a great, trustworthy, and remarkable party and lied, lied, lied, lied, lied until they finally killed it.

    July 19, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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