Valerie Jarrett, who has been the Rasputin of the Obama administration, offered a laughable line to ring in the new year: President Barack Obama's presidency has been free of scandals.
"The president prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn’t had a scandal and he hasn’t done something to embarrass himself," Jarrett told CNN on Sunday. "That’s because that's who he is — that's who they are — and I think that’s what really resonates with the American people."
Jarrett's assertion is demonstrably false, as the Daily Wire has highlighted. Below are 13 of Obama's top scandals, the first 11 of which are excerpted from our previously compiled list:
1. Operation Fast and Furious. This egregious example of a reckless government endangering lives and then scrambling to cover it up has haunted Obama for years. As Daily Wire has explained, "Operation Fast and Furious involved the Obama administration arming drug cartels and thugs south of the border as a means to undermine the Second Amendment. The program resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. One of the Islamic terrorists in the Garland, Texas, attack also used a gun that was obtained through the Fast and Furious program." ...
2. Benghazi. The terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya resulted in four brave Americans dying despite the fact that help could have been sent, but wasn't. Requests for security prior to the attack were repeatedly denied, and after the attack Obama and Hillary Clinton falsely blamed it on a video considered offensive to Muslims. During the election, Benghazi became associated with Clinton—and rightly so—but it is also Obama's scandal as well. It is still not known what Obama was doing that night.
3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations. In 2013, Lois Lerner, who directed the Internal Revenue Service's Exempt Organizations Unit, admitted that Tea Party organizations were targeted under the agency, but blamed it on lower-level employees. Such organizations were heavily scrutinized with invasive questions. Since then, Lerner and IRS commissioner John Koskinen have denied any wrongdoing and have stonewalled congressional efforts to investigate the matter, citing computer crashes for being unable to turn over related emails.
Meanwhile, a federal court concluded in August that conservative groups might still be facing targeted scrutiny from the IRS. It has also been reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) knew about the IRS's targeting of conservative groups as early as 2011.
4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen. In the AP's case, the DOJ was investigating a story involving "a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al-Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to set off a bomb on an airplane headed to the United States," according to the Washington Post. The DOJ seized two months of phone records from the AP without informing the news outlet. ...
In the Rosen case, the DOJ was investigating a story Rosen did involving North Korea and tracked "his movements and conversations," according to Fox News, including phone numbers belonging to Rosen's parents. The DOJ had listed Rosen as a "co-conspirator" under the Espionage Act in regards to the story—allegedly pressing a source for classified information. Rosen was never charged with a crime. ...
5. The NSA conducted mass surveillance against American citizens without a warrant. Thanks to leaking from former government contractor Edward Snowden, it was revealed that the National Security Agency had been conducting mass surveillance against American citizens—a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. In 2015, the NSA eventually ended their bulk data collection of phone records.
6. The Obama administration paid ransom to Iran for hostages, and lied to the American people about it. As the Daily Wire has explained, the Obama administration claimed that they were giving a total of $1.7 billion to Iran to settle a failed arms deal with the previous Iranian regime, and it just happened to coincide with the release of four American hostages. The Obama administration also didn't reveal the details of the agreement to Congress. It was obvious though that it was a ransom deal and the Obama administration lied about it.
7. Hillary's email scandal. Clinton's use of a private email server that was unapproved and unsecured has been written about extensively, but it is also Obama's scandal as well, since it has been revealed that not only did Obama know about her private email server, he also communicated with her under the use of a pseudonym. If their email exchanges involved classified information, then Obama also would have violated the Espionage Act.
8. The Environmental Protection Agency poisoned a Colorado river. The EPA breached the Gold King mine in the state and "mistakenly dug at the bottom" as well as didn't test for pressure, leading to "three million gallons of toxic mine waste" being dumped into a river, according to The Daily Caller. The EPA has not been held accountable for this.
9. The EPA also broke federal law in promoting a regulation. The Daily Wire reported in 2015 that the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office concluded that the EPA broke the law in using Thunderclap to tout their "Waters of the United States" regulation as well as their use of "hyperlinks to the [Natural Resources Defense Council] and Surfrider Foundation webpages provided in the EPA blog post."
10. The GSA scandal. The General Services Administration was busted in 2012 for spending $823,000 on an extravagantly decadent conference in Las Vegas, and it became a shining example of government waste. Several people in the agency were fired, with one facing an indictment. Despite the scandal, lavish spending still occurred within federal agencies under the Obama administration.
11. The Secret Service scandal. The Secret Service was caught in 2012 engaging with prostitutes during a trip to Cartegena, Columbia, with one Secret Service agent emailing another: "Swagg cologne-check/Pimp gear-check/ Swagg sunglasses-check/Cash fo dem hoes-check." They "also left sensitive government documents unprotected in their Cartagena rooms," according to The Daily Caller.
Below are two other scandals that occurred under the Obama administration.
12. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) placed veterans on secret waiting lists so agency executives could enrich themselves with bonuses. The veterans placed on these lists would languish without receiving the care they needed and around 307,000 have reportedly died as a result. Yet department executives would claim bonuses up to $400 million a year deceptively stating that waiting times had declined. The VA has yet to be held to any serious accountability and face structural reforms, and the problems the agency are ongoing.
13. The Department of Energy (DOE) fired one of their chief scientists because she advocated for a program that would divert money from Obama's Climate Action Plan. Dr. Noelle Metting, who managed the Low Dose Radiation Research Program, said that the DOE terminated her because she refused to repeat their propaganda and stated the factual results of the program instead.
"DoE placed its own priorities to further the president's Climate Action Plan before its constitutional obligations to be candid with Congress," the House Committee on Science, Space Technology stated in a report. "The DoE’s actions constitute a reckless and calculated attack on the legislative process itself, which undermines the power of Congress to legislate. The committee further concludes that DoE’s disregard for separation of powers is not limited to a small group of employees, but rather is an institutional problem that must be corrected by overhauling its management practices with respect to its relationship with the Congress."