The title and story are misleading. “Boris Johnson’s alleged smears” sets up an alternative dialogue, that a set of deliberate smears were allegations, as opposed to the reality of the allegations being of smearing.
1) This incorrect view is first encouraged in the initial section where the author describes Obama’s explanation in selected quotes where he refers to the 2nd, already present bust in the Whitehouse, but then totally misleadingly in the 7th paragraph says This implies – if not outright states – that the 2nd bust outside the treaty room, mentioned previously, had been moved downstairs from the Oval Office on Obama’s request, which is patently untrue, as the 2nd bust was already there and already had been when Obama came to office and simply stayed there, whereas the bust that Obama’s quote referred to had actually been removed and sent back, as Obama’s first executive order. The whole impression is to imply that Obama moved the bust from the Oval office to his private quarters, which is totally false, as in actual fact the treaty room bust stayed where it was and he removed the Oval Office one and sent it back. This is either a deliberate lie or a deliberate attempt to mislead. Any reader who did not know the truth would assume the author’s use of referred to the object of the previous paragraph, not a totally separate object (the Oval Office Bust) which is not previously introduced in the article, and is not mentioned till the very end.
2) This view is then reinforced later in paragraph 14, where the author states that but does not challenge the veracity of this claim, which is in fact a lie. Johnson’s claim is evidentially true, as history tells that the White House lied about the story in 2012, then when the British American Embassy was asked and admitted it had been sent back, the White House PR was forced to admit they had lied and had sent it back. This is also not mentioned anywhere in the article.
3) Incredibly in paragraphs 20-22, the author describes the White Houses initial denial in 2012, but then does not say anything about their later backtracking, when they forced to admit the claim was true. This is reinforced by the quote that suggests the bust had been moved, as suggested earlier, referring to a different bust.
4) The only clue that these suggestions are false are at the end, when the author states that a bust had been removed, but then he seeks to mislead the reader again, by quoting the White House Press Office, but failing to balance this misleading half-truth by mentioning that the loan on the Oval Officr bust had been extended and Obama had specifically asked for it to be removed.
In conclusion, the article smears Johnson by consistently conflicting the different busts and giving the impression Obama had done no wrong. It includes claims that have since been debunked, without acknowledging that fact and attmepts to give the overall impression that Johnson’s accusation is untrue, when in fact it is totally true and is based on widely available and easily accessible information that has been known since 2012.