White House urged Geithner to lie on Sunday talk shows

Timothy Geithner has written a memoir. It’s not a book I intend to read, and I’m sure I speak for all but an incredibly small number of Americans in that regard.

Some of the reported excerpts are interesting, though. This one caught my eye:

I remember during one Roosevelt Room prep session before I appeared on the Sunday shows, I objected when Dan Pfeiffer wanted me to say Social Security didn’t contribute to the deficit. It wasn’t a main driver of our future deficits, but it did contribute. Pfeiffer said the line was a ‘dog whistle’ to the left, a phrase I had never heard before. He had to explain that the phrase was code to the Democratic base, signaling that we intended to protect Social Security.

The excerpt doesn’t say whether Geithner accommodated the White House by whistling to its dogs of the left. Even if he didn’t, many other Team Obama members have.

Being lied to by administration officials on the Sunday talk shows is about as shocking as being lied to at a car dealership. And Obama’s White House isn’t the only such “show room” where that sort of lying has occurred.

But when four Americans including an ambassador are killed in an attack known to involve terrorists, the stakes are such that the public should hear only the truth from the White House. Unfortunately, Team Obama, in the middle of an election campaign, reached the opposite conclusion. The raised stakes made lying all the more imperative.

Geithner’s excerpt confirms the willingness of the Obama administration’s political wing to feed lies to its top officials for public consumption. What we have learned about Benghazi confirms that this willingness, indeed eagerness, prevailed at precisely the time when America most deserved the truth.

Via Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard.

JOHN adds: Whatever one may think of the materiality of this particular lie, it is striking that Pfeiffer–a political operative whose title was Deputy White House Communications Director–had no compunction about instructing the Secretary of the Treasury to mislead voters on television. The Secretary should have thrown Pfeiffer out of the room, or worse. (If this is the talk show in question, Geithner skated through without making the false statement demanded by Pfeiffer–transparently false, as many well-informed viewers would have known that it wasn’t true.) The anecdote tells us much about the principles and priorities of the Obama administration.