Washington – Very quietly and without fanfare, President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, strangled a female member of the White House cleaning staff who had inadvertently seen classified documents Mr. Emanuel had in an open briefcase. Mr. Emanuel said the strangling, “Went off without a hitch,” and he was back at work within a half hour.
The White House did not identify the woman except to say she was “a dedicated member of the White House cleaning staff for over 12 years” in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. Emanuel said it was approximately 2:15 PM when he looked up from some reading materials to see the woman dusting a table where his briefcase sat. Realizing the briefcase had been left open, he asked the woman if she had seen what was inside.
“She hesitated,” Mr. Emanuel said. “She said, ‘Uh–No.’ And I knew. She had seen the documents. And therefore, I had to dispose of her as quickly and as quietly as possible.”
Mr. Emanuel said he simply walked up to the woman and put his hands around her neck. He continued to apply pressure, dropping down onto the floor with her as she fell, until she had stopped breathing completely.
“It was very quick, very simple,” Mr. Emanuel said. “All one motion, very fluid.”
And then it was done, he said. “I made some calls to take care of odds and ends, and we were back to work within a half hour. I can’t help wanting to brag about how efficiently it was handled.”
Mr. Emanuel was asked if he felt any remorse for his actions, especially considering the fact that the woman only saw the documents in question because Mr. Emanuel left his briefcase open on the table.
“No. No remorse,” he said. “Look, was it my mistake, leaving the thing open? Yeah. But I’m not going to strangle myself. I’m the Chief of Staff.”
As he left for a staff meeting, Mr. Emanuel concluded by saying, “These things happen. People see things they’re not supposed to see. Then they go away. As if they never existed. In fact, I have no idea what ‘cleaning woman’ you’re referring to. We’ve never had a woman like the one you describe on staff at the White House. You must be mistaken.”