Possible connections linking Obama, former president of the United States, to Comet Ping Pong arose when James Alefantis posted a photo of Barack Obama playing ping pong with a child on Instagram.
In one of the e-mails, it can be read that Obama held a phone bank at the location of Comet Ping Pong:
Date: 2012-10-21 23:28
Subject: John, can you make some calls for Virginia
John — Volunteers are making phone calls to support Virginia this Monday — can you join them?
Here are the details:
What: Phone bank in Washington
Where: 5037 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
When: Monday, October 22nd Shifts start at 5:00 pm
E-mail which mentions Comet Ping Pong as a phone bank
If we look up the address, we can indeed see that it’s Comet Ping Pong: https://m.mapquest.com/us/district-of-columbia/restaurants-washington/comet-ping-pong-21669385
Apart from Comet Ping Pong, other e-mails have been found in which users from Reddit thought some kind of code may be used:
From: Fred Burton [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:39 PM
To: ‘Don Kuykendall’
Cc: ‘Aaric Eisenstein’; ‘Darryl O’Connor’; ‘Copeland Susan’
Subject: RE: Get ready for “Chicago Hot Dog Friday”
I think Obama spent about $65,000 of the tax-payers money flying in
pizza/dogs from Chicago for a private party at the White House not long
ago, assume we are using the same channels?
A reply which was sent to this, said:
Date 2009-05-14 21:50:25
To email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: Get ready for “Chicago Hot Dog Friday”
If we get the same “waitresses,” I’m all for it!!!
Aaric S. Eisenstein
In a related Reddit thread ( Related Reddit thread here ) users started speculating about the meaning of the e-mails.
The user usuallyprettywrong said about the reply: “Why put “waitress” in quotes unless it has a double meaning?”
Jimmydorry speculated that the code might be referring to drugs, when he said: “I think drugs.”
One user was sceptical about the amount of money mentioned: “I also think drugs… but this is seriously a fucking scandal. You’re telling me Obama spent 65K of taxpayer money on whatever the fuck this codeword is used for? It’s definitely not actual pizza and hotdogs which are readily available in DC. WTF. This should blow up. But I’m sure it won’t. ”
User errihu however put this claim in perspective: “65K is not that much. It might cover christmas parties for several departments, actually. Most parties thrown by government or companies run about $100 a head or more. A party at the White House might easily run $500 a head for catering and events and all the related costs (such as clean up), if parties at higher end businesses are any indication of the potential cost. A $65k party at $500 a head is 150 people. It probably came from the annual $12.7 million White House budget, which includes moneys for entertaining.
So while this is obviously not hot dogs and pizza, unless it’s hot dogs and pizza for 6500 people… this is not a gasp-worthy budget for a party by any means. I once went to a company christmas party where the company shelled out approximately $1000/person for two nights in a swanky hotel, a gourmet four-course dinner, and an open bar.”
Reddit user boonamobile was sceptical, and said: “To play devil’s advocate, pizza and hot dogs are the two regionally styled foods that Chicago is most known for“