Even as President Donald Trump plots to stay in power, White House staff have gotten their departure instructions, which includes a reminder to clean the office microwave and return any presidential gifts.
Trump is pressuring Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill to object to the certification of the electoral college results when Congress meets on January 6 so he can stay in office. President-elect Joe Biden won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, which gives him the presidency.
But CBS News obtained a detailed email from the executive office of the West Wing with directions on the departing process. Staff will start leaving the first week of January ahead of Inauguration Day on January 20th.
Among the instructions: Clean the office refrigerator and microwave, returning all White House stationary and presidential gifts, and boxing up personal items to take home.
The majority of staff in the West Wing are political appointees, meaning their job duties end when their president leaves office. There are some military aides and executive staff who are government employees and could stay detailed to the White House into Biden’s tenure.
Even as President Donald Trump plots to stay in power, White House staff have gotten their departure instructions ahead of Inauguration Day
CBS News obtained a memo with the departure instructions, which includes a reminder to clean the office microwave and return any presidential gifts
Additionally, the White House itself, the site of multiple COVID-19 outbreaks, will undergo a deep cleaning between the Trump and Biden administrations.
Among the items being scrubbed – the furniture, door knobs, window treatments, light switches, elevator buttons, restroom features and dispensers, and more.
The 54,900 square feet White House – which includes the East and West Wings, state rooms, and family residence – has had several cases of coronavirus within its walls.
President Trump, Melania Trump and their son Barron had the virus in October. Several other Trump aides also have tested positive, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and several of her press staff, adviser Hope Hicks, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, adviser Stephen Miller, and several of Vice President Mike Pence‘s staff and Trump campaign staff.
The virus that causes COVID-19 can live on surfaces for up to three days, medical experts have said, noting it can last longer in cold weather.
But the virus can be killed with the proper cleaning products. The General Services Administration, which is in charge of cleaning the East and West Wing office space, said its staff uses cleaning and disinfection products that follow the CDC guidelines.
A GSA spokesperson told DailyMail.com that both the East Wing – where the first lady and her staff work – and the West Wing will be thoroughly cleaned on January 20th.
‘GSA will thoroughly clean and disinfect the building spaces between the administrations and ensure that everything is up to standard. Cleaning will include, but is not limited to, all furniture, flooring, window treatments, handrails, door knobs, light switches, countertops, elevator buttons, restroom fixtures and dispensers, door handles and push plates, and lighting fixtures,’ the spokesperson said.
Additionally, the GSA last month approved a contract with a cleaning company to provide ‘disinfectant misting services due to COVID at the White House’ over the next year.
The White House, the site of multiple COVID-19 outbreaks, will undergo a deep cleaning between the Trump and Biden administrations
Cleaning staff enter the West Wing of the White House, being let inside by the Marine on duty
The White House is deep cleaned on a regular basis – above a member of the cleaning crew sprays disinfectant into the press area in the West Wing
With 28 days until Inauguration Day, President-elect Biden is preparing to take power. He has unveiled a flurry of Cabinet and staff announcements with more to come.
And behind the scenes, the logistics of changing over the White House from the Trump family to the Biden family, along with moving out the current staff and bringing in new staffers, is under way.
Many Biden staffers are expected to telecommute after he takes the oath of office. Biden ran his campaign and transition mostly virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic with strict protocols in place to combat COVID exposure.
Meanwhile, President Trump has refused to concede the election even as his legal team has lost multiple court challenges, there has been no evidence of voter fraud, and recounts in Georgia and Wisconsin have confirmed Biden’s victory.
Even as he objects – including releasing a 10 minute video rant on social media Tuesday night – other members of his family are preparing for life after the White House.
A source told Page Six that Melania toured Pine Crest school in Fort Lauderdale, which is about 40 minutes away from Mar-a-Lago.
The Trumps changed their official address from New York City to Florida, where the president, Melania and Barron are expected to move once Biden is inaugurated in January.
Barron, 14, will be moved to a school in Florida and not finish out the year at Maryland’s St Andrew’s Episcopal School, close to the White House in Washington DC.
His new school could be Pine Crest, which will run the Trumps about $35,150 per year for tuition.
Scroll down for video
Melania Trump (center) recently visited a Florida school for her son Barron Trump (right) as the First Lady looks ahead to life after President Donald Trump finishes his administration
A source told Page Six that Melania toured Pine Crest school (pictured) in Fort Lauderdale, which is about 40 minutes away from Mar-a-Lago
Ariana Grande, Bethenny Frankel, and Kelsey Grammer are alumni of Pine Crest. Barron will still be in ninth grade when he transfers to a new school.
Earlier this month, a source told People that Melania has ‘looked all over Palm Beach County and neighboring Broward County for just the right place’ for Barron.
‘There are several options, and they will decide soon,’ the source said.
The First Lady is wrapping up the family’s life in Washington DC, taking an inventory of the Trump furniture and art in the White House, asking what kind of staff and budget she gets after January 20th, and thinking about her legacy.
‘She just wants to go home,’ a source close to Melania told CNN last month.
Melania is also sorting through the Trump family’s personal items, deciding what will be sent to the penthouse in Trump Tower in New York, what will go to Mar-a-Lago, and what goes in storage.
Repair work is being done on the Trump’s private quarters in Mar-a-Lago to prepare for it to become the Trumps’ permanent home.
Additionally, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are also looking to the next stage in their lives.
While it was once thought that the couple would return to New York City and resume their pre-White House lives on the Manhattan social scene, reports now suggest that they could relocate elsewhere.
The Kushners reportedly purchased a $31 million plot of land on Miami’s ‘Billionaire Bunker,’ fueling speculation that Ivanka may be planning a run for office in Florida.
Ivanka shared an image of her daughter Arabella, 9, and sons Joseph, 7, and Theodore, 4, preparing the prints in an Instagram post on Sunday.
Among the snaps was one of the children posing with President Trump and another of them with their parents – all seen as the family making memories before departing the executive mansion.
Leaving handprints in The Children’s Garden is part of a long-standing tradition in the White House, Ivanka wrote.
(L-R) Theodore, Joseph and Arabella Kushner pose with their handprints in the White House Children’s Garden
The children, photographed here with President Donald Trump, were among Trump’s 10 grandchildren to leave their handprints in the garden
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump pose with their children at the White House as the plaques join those of previous presidents’ children and grandchildren in the garden
Arabella Kushner’s bronze handprints are seen embedded in the path in the White House Children’s Garden
‘Footprints and handprints of Presidents’ children and grandchildren are embedded in the garden’s paved pathway,’ Ivanka wrote.
She said that Melania Trump had 10 more bronze pavers added to include handprints of each of President Trump’s grandchildren.
‘The Children’s Garden was a gift from President and Mrs. Johnson to the White House in 1968,’ she said in the post, adding that it featured a goldfish pond, an apple tree, tulips and grape hyacinth.
According to whitehousemuseum.org, The Children’s Garden is a wooded park-like area that provides a secure place for children to play.
It even includes an apple tree that kids can climb.
In her diary, First Lady ‘Lady Bird’ Johnson described the garden as ‘a charming little spot…a very secret, quiet place’.
Other handprints in the garden include President George W. Bush’s children Barbara and Jenna, which were added during their grandfather George H. W. Bush’s time in office.
Including the Trump family children, more than 30 children and grandchildren of former presidents have left their mark on the garden.