Trump White House staffers receive conflicting messages about their departureDecember 23, 2020
Conflicting internal memos created confusion inside the White House on Wednesday about when staffers in the Executive Office of the President should begin preparing to leave work ahead of the transition next month.
In an email Wednesday morning from the White House Management Office, EOP staffers were instructed to “please disregard” an earlier memo that had been sent Tuesday informing them that they “will start departing” on the week of Jan. 4. Both messages were obtained by POLITICO.
The Tuesday memo also included information pertaining to outgoing employees’ payroll, benefits, sick leave, records, ethics debriefing and security clearance. Staffers were notified that they would receive a “comprehensive checklist” in the coming days and be directed to “take inventory of your office space.”
Other bullet points in the memo mentioned “cleaning out your refrigerator and microwave,” and returning “all White House stationery” and “Presidential gifts.” Work supplies “will be disinfected upon return,” the memo said.
The initial White House communication sent Tuesday had contradicted the ongoing public effort by President Donald Trump and his top aides to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election. By Wednesday morning, the White House Management Office had advised in its new email that “updated information will be shared in the coming days.”
The memos come as White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly visited Georgia on Tuesday to observe local officials’ audit of absentee ballot envelope signatures — a process demanded by the president as part of his bid to overturn the battleground state’s election results.
And as recently as Tuesday night, Trump had mused in a video message posted to Twitter that perhaps the next administration “will be me.”