It's moving day for some Trump administration White House staffers, as President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration day quickly approaches. There are multiple reports of White House aides appearing to take for the personal use items that belong to the federal government, including in one case a bust of President Abraham Lincoln that was on loan from a museum.
Top Trump advisor Peter Navarro, who earlier Thursday was chastised for spreading election lies and continuing to incite insurrection, this time on Fox News, is now being accused 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. This is not an estate sale or Antiques Roadshow," CNN's Jim Acosta said on-air.
A Yahoo Finance editor posted a photo of Navarro –who is vehemently anti-China – outside the White House, carrying artwork, a large framed photo of President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and other dignitaries.
Former associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama, Kenneth Baer, says removing the framed image for personal use is "illegal."
"These photos belong to the American people, and go to the National Archives," says Baer, who clearly would know.
This is illegal. These photos belong to the American people, and go to the National Archives. (I know this as when… https://t.co/BwjEfGlDEB— Kenneth Baer (@Kenneth Baer)1610643279.0
The original photo of Navarro was taken by Eric Scott for Reuters and 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. Pres… https://t.co/ZDs2VuXMca— corinne_perkins (@corinne_perkins)1610636037.0
It is possible Navarro paid the government for the photo and frame, which Baer noted.
CNN's John Harwood weighed in:
what’s the word for taking something illegally? https://t.co/43yBaUq8La— John Harwood (@John Harwood)1610667442.0