Tags: obama | unpaid | bills | censored | transcript

Obama 'Unpaid Bills' Comment Scrubbed From Transcript, Reporters Say

Image: Obama 'Unpaid Bills' Comment Scrubbed From Transcript, Reporters Say
US President Barack Obama speaks during a rally at Chicago State University October 19, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 10:31 AM

Obama's mention of having "unpaid bills" at his home in Chicago during a campaign fundraiser on Monday have been scrubbed from the official White House transcript.

"One of the nice things about being home is actually that it’s a little bit like a time capsule," he said to the crowd in his hometown of Chicago, according to ABC News.

"Because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills. I think eventually they got paid, but they’re sort of stacked up — and messages, newspapers, and all kinds of stuff."

The official transcript, however, did not include the full comments. Instead, the censored script read, "we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some — newspapers and all kinds of stuff."

A pool reporter at the event mentioned the joke in her Monday night report, and emailed other reporters about the missing transcript text.

On Tuesday, the White House issued a new transcript that placed the words "inaudible" in brackets where the words "unpaid bills" should be.

That same day, White House spokesman Josh Earnest responded to questions about the new transcript by saying, "I can tell you there was a problem with the recording of the event."

"I did not have a chance to rummage through the desk of the president while he was home this week," he joked further.

Audio from the event shows that the comment about the bills was clearly audible, so the White House appears to be willfully censoring the record.

On Friday, the president also joked to a crowd that his credit card was rejected on a recent dinner out with the first lady.

"I was trying to explain to the waitress, 'No, I really think that I’ve been paying my bills,'" he said.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that journalists in the press pool, which is overseen by the White House Correspondents’ Association, set up their own online forum to share pool reports among themselves, complaining that the White House continually censored and delayed the reports.

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Obama's mention of having "unpaid bills" at his home in Chicago during a campaign fundraiser on Monday have been scrubbed from the official White House transcript.
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2014-31-23
Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 10:31 AM
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