Barack Obama, March 13:
President Obama said his administration was looking at ways to resume White House tours for school groups. “This was not a decision that went up to the White House,” noted Obama in an ABC News interview aired on Wednesday, saying the directive came from the Secret Service.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, March 7:
In order to allow the Secret Service to best fulfill its core mission, the White House made the decision that we would, unfortunately, have to temporarily suspend these tours.
(Emphasis mine.) One of these two statements, certainly, is a lie.
Almost certainly, it’s the former. Is the White House really going to cease tours without directions from the White House? Come on. Besides, we have plenty of examples of the White House directing its people to make the sequester as painful as possible, so this would be well within precedent.
Moreover, when Jay Carney was questioned on this, he explained that the decision absolutely did go to the White House. (Trying to square the circle, he also explained that the decision nevertheless was really made by the Secret Service.)