Ex-Obama Official Warns Trump Officials: Taking White House Artwork ‘Is Illegal’
Apparently not content with the damage they have already done to the country, some Trump administration officials are allegedly looting the White House of its precious artworks and antiques. That’s according to numerous reports that say White House officials are taking these items (which incidentally, belong to the federal government) home for their own personal use, Raw Story reports. This even includes a bust of Abraham Lincoln, which was on loan from a museum.
One such staffer, Peter Navarro, who was reprimanded Thursday for spreading election lies and continually inciting insurrection in an appearance on Fox News, now faces accusations of “illegal activity.”
“People need to know that the items inside the White House are not giveaways, they’re not souvenirs you can take home,” said CNN’s Jim Acosta on-air. “This is not an estate sale or Antiques Roadshow.“
Navarro is notedly anti-Chinese, and a Yahoo Finance editor has posted a photo online that shows him carrying artwork and a large, framed photo of Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders. And removing this photo from the White House for personal use is “illegal,” said Kenneth Baer, the former associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama.
“These photos belong to the American people, and go to the National Archives,” Baer said.
This is illegal. These photos belong to the American people, and go to the National Archives.
— Kenneth Baer (@KennethBaer) January 14, 2021
Reuters photographer Erin Scott took the photo showing Navarro with his prize and it was posted to Twitter by a Reuters editor:
Yesterday: 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. Photo by @erinscottphoto pic.twitter.com/MoS00tnH07
— corinne_perkins (@corinne_perkins) January 14, 2021
There is a possibility that Navarro paid the government for the photo and the frame, Baer noted, but Navarro isn’t the only staffer seen appropriating things from the White House. At least three other staffers have been observed leaving the West Wing with several items, and one staffer was carrying the bust of Lincoln. It’s traditional for incoming presidents to select national artifacts that exemplify their personal tastes and beliefs, Mediaite reports.
SPOTTED: Bust of President Abraham Lincoln leaving the West Wing about an hour ago. pic.twitter.com/QOulIk1dQE
— Jeremy Art (@cspanJeremy) January 14, 2021
Other videos have captured staffers rolling in hand carts to empty boxes of documents out of their offices and moving trucks have been quite busy around the White House. But soon that bustling activity will quiet down and the only thing that will be left behind is the damage and devastation this administration has cost the country. All of the things Trump has wrought — his racism, his crazed followers, his alienation of foreign leaders, and his steady stream of lies will leave deep scars.
But when he leaves we won’t be subject to anymore of his infantile temper tantrums, so that’s a relief.