The White House is undergoing major renovations while President Donald Trump spends 17 days away, mostly at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort.
Just an hour after Air Force One took off for New Jersey last Friday, the Oval Office had been cleared of furniture and, since then, West Wing staffers have been relocated as construction workers have flooded in.
The renovations, which were approved during President Barack Obama’s administration, will include an overhaul of the White House’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system, as well upgrades to the building’s IT system, mess hall, and outdoor spaces.
The White House has been plagued with issues including ceiling leaks and a house-fly infestation, according to CNN. (The insects have been an issue for several years — a video of Obama killing one of the White House flies went viral in 2009, and Trump reportedly tasked his former chief of staff with killing one earlier this year.)
For the time being, West Wing staffers are working out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door.
According to one account, Trump told staffers and members of his New Jersey golf resort that his new home is “a real dump” — a remark he later denied making.
“I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE,” he tweeted last week.
After announcing his planned stay in Bedminster, the president said it did not constitute a vacation. He tweeted last week that he will be conducting meetings and taking calls while in New Jersey. Trump has mixed work with leisure so far, holding a meeting on the opioid crisis but also being photographed on the golf course.