Items that could belong to the American people are being carried out of the White House by Trump’s staff.
A bust of Abe Lincoln left the West Wing:
More stuff (appears to be Abe Lincoln bust) leaving the West Wing this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/4fjkVPmiMS
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 14, 2021
Trump advisor Peter Navarro was spotted taking a painting:
‘White House advisor Peter Navarro leaves the West Wing of the White House with a photograph of U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Washington, U.S., January 13, 2021.’
— Michael B. Kelley (@MichaelBKelley) January 14, 2021
Gifts from foreign leaders don’t belong to the president.
According to the Congressional Research Service, “‘A tangible gift of more than minimal value accepted for reasons of protocol or courtesy may not be kept as a personal gift, however, but is considered accepted on behalf of and property of the United States, and in the case of such a gift for the President or the President’s family, is handled by the National Archives and Records Administration.”
Gifts are supposed to be stored and then moved to a presidential library. If the president wants to buy a gift, he or she can purchase it from the government. The president is also not allowed to accept and keep presents from foreign governments, and the minimal value of a gift is limited to less than $20.
Trump did not bring his own bust of Lincoln or painting of himself with Xi into the White House, so it looks like the administration is ignoring the gift laws, and stealing everything that isn’t bolted down.
The Biden staff might be spending a lot of time on eBay trying to get back the haul that Trump is lifting from the White House.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association