Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stated she hopes GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump will accept the election results if he loses, allowing for a seamless transition. Yet, former President Bill Clinton’s administration left the White House in less than optimal conditions when former President George W. Bush was elected in 2000.
Clinton staffers, who were angry over former Vice President Al Gore losing to Bush, intentionally created somewhere between $13,000 and $14,000 in damages, a 2002 report by The Government Accountability Office shows. The report confirmed “theft, vandalism and pranks” occurred shortly after the results were announced.
Some of the most costly destruction included $4,850 spent to replace keyboards that had the letter “W” ripped off, $2,040 on cell phones that were destroyed or could not be located and $1,150 spent on professional cleaning services.
Graffiti on walls and furniture included messages like: “Hail to the Thief” written on desk drawers and “What W did to democracy, you are about to do in here” penned in the men’s restroom.
Then-Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri, who now works for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, downplayed the damages after the report was published.
“The real scandal here is how much time and money the Republicans have wasted in a vendetta against the Clinton administration,” she told The New York Times in an article published in 2002. “It’s troubling that the White House cooperated so enthusiastically with this investigation, but refused to provide the G.A.O. with records of the energy task force headed by Vice President Cheney.”
In contrast, 41st President George H.W. Bush wrote a letter congratulating his successor on his win, advising him to “cherish” his time in office.
The government watchdog was unable to compare the costs to past administrations as investigations had not taken place.
“Because of the lack of definitive data available to compare the extent of damage, vandalism, and pranks during the 2001 transition with past transitions, we were unable to conclude whether the 2001 transition was worse than previous ones,” the report reads.
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