Members of Donald Trump’s team at the White House were photographed leaving with some of their belongings on Thursday, a day after the president was impeached and with less than a week remaining before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The White House was abuzz with activity as officials were seen carrying out an unusual selection of cherished items, including a bust of Abraham Lincoln, a stuffed bird and a framed picture of Mr Trump meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Reality seemed to finally have dawned on White House economic adviser Peter Navarro, who has been one of the most vocal members of Mr Trump’s team in propagating unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
It was the hardline critic of China who was spotted leaving the West Wing with the framed photograph of the Trump-Xi meeting.
A bust of Abraham Lincoln was also ushered out of the West Wing by the staffers – though not because it is a personal item. The statue will be returned to a museum, as incoming officials generally choose their own items from among national artefacts to decorate the White House during their term.
Debbie Meadows, wife of the chief of staff Mark Meadows, was spotted carrying out a stuffed pheasant as her husband’s desk was cleared.
The goodbyes in the White House began as Mr Trump has finally accepted there will be a “peaceful transition”, though he still insists the election was stolen and will not be attending his successor’s inauguration.
In another break with tradition, the Pentagon has said it will not host a customary farewell tribute event for the president for the first time since the departure of Ronald Reagan.
With Mr Trump skipping the inauguration event, White House officials are still reportedly unclear on how to plan an appropriate sendoff for the incumbent president.
There are reports that the Trump administration is working to arrange for a crowd to be present to see him out of the White House on the day of Mr Biden’s inauguration ceremony.
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