The Oval Office is Under Renovation — Here’s What That Looks Like

Donald Trump has been cleared out of the Oval Office — though not in the way MSNBC anchors might wish.

Trump is currently on vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey because the West Wing is being renovated, that gives us a rare chance to see a completely stripped down Oval Office, courtesy of our friend, Reuters White House correspondent  Jeff Mason.

The picture shows a barely recognizable version of the Oval Office. All the furniture has been removed and a plastic sheet and tape cover the walls. The renovation will not only be structural, but cosmetic as well, with plans to change some West Wing’s walls and carpets.

Trump says he is on a “work vacation” while the White House undergoes repairs. According to the New York Times, all White House officials have been moved out of the West Wing and are temporarily working in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door.

The renovations are estimated to take about two weeks and cost $3.4 million it “includes replacing the air-conditioning and heating system and installing new cables and wires, fresh paint and new carpets.”

Despite criticism for taking a vacation, White House staff insist that this renovation was “dire.” A spokesperson said the 27-year-old system was “well past its life cycle and will fail in the near future without intervention.”

This replacement was originally supposed to take place in 2014, but a plan wasn’t put together in 2016. When President Barack Obama was told in the spring of 2016 that the renovation could last until the fall of 2016, he and his team decided to leave it to the next administration.

“These huge maintenance projects are not atypical. They don’t happen every year, but they do happen on a periodic basis because of the needs of an old building, and particularly in the West Wing, a very dense office space,” said Betty Monkman, a White House curator from 1967 to 2002.

[image via screengrab]

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