Dave Chappelle Says It Was Celebs Who Left Anti-Trump Notes After 2016 Election, Not Obama AidesApril 9, 2021
According to Dave Chappelle, it wasn't members of the Obama administration who left behind disparaging notes for their successors when Donald Trump took office.
Instead, Chappelle told Naomi Campbell on a recent episode of her YouTube series No Filter that it was unnamed celebrities who penned the messages.
While the two reminisced about dancing at what Chappelle, 47, said was "one of the last big parties the Obama threw," the comedian interjected with a story about the notes, which first made headlines in 2019.
"I'm not gonna say these celebrities' names [but] there was a thing when the Trump administration moved in, they said the Obama staff left dirty notes for us in all the drawers and all the cabinets," Chappelle told Campbell, referencing a 2019 Fox News interview in which former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed that staffers from the Obama administration had left behind the mean messages for their replacements.
Grisham said at the time: "We came into the White House. I'll tell you something: Every office was filled with Obama books, and we had notes left behind that said 'You will fail,' 'You aren't going to make it.' "
A number of Obama staffers quickly pushed back on her account, including her predecessor.
Chappelle also painted a different picture on No Filter, saying, "I saw this happening. I'm not gonna say who did it, but it was celebrities writing all this crazy s— and putting it all over there. I saw them doing it … and I laughed real hard."
Saying that night at the Obama White House was "one of them most beautiful things" he'd ever seen, Chappelle also recalled a memorable moment from later in the evening when then-President Barack Obama retired to the residence only to come back to the dance floor later to continue the party.
"When Obama walked back in, the crowd parts like the Red Sea … many, many of these people were Black," Chappelle said. "It's almost surreal — like you can't even believe you're in this place, experiencing this culture."
As the crowd gathered around, Chappelle said, Obama dabbed and "the crowd went crazy. I'll never forget that."
Chappelle spoke about Trump shortly after his surprise 2016 election, saying in a monologue on Saturday Night Live that "I'm going to give [Trump] a chance and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he gives us one too."
Six months later, in an appearance on The Late Show, Chappelle told host Stephen Colbert the experience had birthed "a more informed and better voter."
"In the last six months, I think we're all getting education about the presidency. I don't know that I've ever heard, in just popular discourse, people discussing ethics this much," he said. "I didn't even realize how ethics was necessarily supposed to work at that level of government, and he's putting all this stuff on the forefront."
Appearing again on SNL in November, after Trump lost his re-election bid, Chappelle called him a "racist, hilarious son of a b—-" and a "wild guy." But the comedian also asked the audience for empathy for Trump voters and for everyone with whom they disagree.
Chappelle recently announced two upcoming performances at Connecticut's Foxwoods Resort and Casino on June 25 and 26. Attendees will be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test in addition to wearing masks and socially distancing within the venue.
Chappelle himself tested positive for the virus earlier this year, with his rep confirming the news to PEOPLE as he made the decision to cancel all of his upcoming shows in Austin, Texas, following his diagnosis.
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