Mystery surrounds over the removal of the coveted bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln from the West Wing of the White house by Trump staffers on Thursday. With barely a week left for the newly elected Biden administration to take over the reins of the White House, Trump staffers have already started the process of clearing out the premises.
President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony is scheduled for January 20. US President Donald Trump, who regularly called the lost elections rigged, was impeached for inciting his supporters to launch an attack on Capitol.
The White House Clueless About Removal of Lincoln's Bust?
Over the last few days, a lot of staffers working in the Trump administration were seen removing their favorite pieces of artefacts, including certificates, photographs and souvenirs, as they cleared out their offices for the incoming administration.
Trade adviser Peter Navarro was also spotted removing a photograph of President Trump's summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. However, what caught the internet's fancy was the removal of the bronze bust of former US President Abraham Lincoln.
In a video released by C-Span, a Marine guard is seen opening the door as three people left the building, one carrying what appeared to be a bronze bust of the Lincoln.
The bust, which was created by American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, was placed atop a stone pillar in the East Garden Room. It was also spotted in the Oval office during the time of Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.
The Washington Examiner reported that the White House referred inquiries about the bust's whereabouts to the General Services Administration, responsible for running federal offices. However, a spokeswoman for the GSA said it was not involved and referred inquiries back to the White House, reported the outlet.
Acosta Hints at Trump Administration Looting the White House
The theory of Lincoln's bust being illegally removed from the White House was further fueled by CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta who raised the possibility of Trump administration looting the White House on their way out.
According to Raw Story, during an interview with Brooke Baldwin, while talking about the videos and images viral on the social media, Acosta said: "And we are seeing what looks like moving day over at the White House. You are seeing items coming and going from the West Wing. We saw Larry Kudlow leaving earlier today. Here's a bust of Abraham Lincoln being carried out of the West Wing."
"People need to know that the items inside the White House are not giveaways, they're not souvenirs you can take home. This is not an estate sale or Antiques Roadshow, but yet you're seeing some White House staffers taking mementos with them as they go," he reported. "And so it is a strange sort of surreal look at the end days of the Trump presidency, but that's what we're in the midst of right now."
'Stop the Steal' says the Social Media
Soon after the video of Lincoln's bust removal went viral, netizens were soon to suggest that the Trumps were stealing important artefacts from the White House.
Many even raised suspicion about the bust ending up on ebay in a few days. "I guarantee that bust of Lincoln should probably stay. It'll be on ebay next month," tweeted a user.
"Why is the bust of Abraham Lincoln being removed from the White House? I was afraid that the Trump administration would steal items before the administration ends," said another user.
Here are some of the reactions on the microblogging site.