The Trump administration will begin departing the White House within two weeks, despite the president’s insistence that he lost the election because of widespread voter fraud and ongoing efforts by his Republican allies to overturn the results in key battleground states.
In a video message posted to social media on Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump attacked the economic relief bill passed in Congress this week and suggested that “maybe” the next administration “will be me.” The president also met on Monday with Republican lawmakers planning to object to the electoral votes of several states won by Joe Biden when Congress convenes January 6 to formally count the votes. But internally, the White House is preparing for the administration’s departure.
White House staff received an email from the president’s executive office on Tuesday evening instructing them to begin cleaning out their desks and boxing up office supplies with their departure, starting on January 4, CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang reported via Twitter on Wednesday morning. The email includes lists of things that need to be done, such as “cleaning out your refrigerator and microwave,” “returning Presidential gifts to room 1” and “taking home personal items.”
“Employees will receive a comprehensive checklist in the coming days. As an initial step, please take inventory of your office and understand you are responsible for the following,” the email says, going on to list tasks that need to be completed.
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not hear back before publication.
The president and some GOP allies continue to push unsubstantiated claims that Biden won the election through widespread voter fraud. There is no evidence to support these allegations, and more than 50 lawsuits filed by the president and his supporters have been dismissed or rejected by state and federal courts. Judges—including some appointed by Trump and other Republicans—have repeatedly pointed out that lawyers bringing the lawsuits have not provided evidence to back their often bizarre allegations.
On December 14, the Electoral College electors officially cast their ballots—certifying Biden’s win. But some GOP lawmakers still plan to object when the electoral votes are counted by Congress on January 6. This effort is widely expected to fail.
Any objection must be submitted in writing with the backing of at least one member of the House of Representatives and one senator. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP Senate leaders have urged their colleagues not to sign on to any efforts by House Republicans to object.
Even if a GOP senator joins with House members in attempting to overturn the results in battleground states, majorities in both chambers of Congress are needed for an objection to succeed. The House is controlled by Democrats, and there appears to be more than enough Republicans in the Senate who would join with Democratic colleagues to vote against an objection.
Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, criticized GOP colleagues planning to object on January 6. “There has been some not serious people in Congress that have convinced their base, for retweets and money, that we can as members of Congress go out and determine that we just want Trump to be the president again in 2020,” Kinzinger told CNN on Monday.