Portrait of President Trump (Whitehouse.gov)
A change in the occupant of the White House means a change in the portraits displayed across the country in federal agency offices.
But four months into Donald Trump’s presidency, there’s just empty wall space in several New York law enforcement offices where the image of former President Barack Obama once hung.
At 290 Broadway in Manhattan, home to offices for the IRS, Environmental Protection Agency and the FBI, the wall where Trump’s portrait will hang is barren, though the spot is marked by two empty screws.
Sure enough, there on the wall, over the security chute faced by visitors immediately upon entering the building’s west side, are two unassuming empty screws where the portrait is meant to hang. Two security officers confirmed on Tuesday that was the spot.
Representatives of the U.S. Attorneys for Southern and Eastern Districts of New York confirmed that they themselves are not in possession of an official Trump presidential portrait either.
The case of the missing portraits is a short paper trail that leads to the White House.
“The office photo of the POTUS is provided by the [U.S.] General Services Administration,” John Marzulli, spokesman for the Eastern District, said in an email. “I am informed that GSA is still waiting for the picture. They have not received it as of yet.”
The GSA did not respond directly to questions about why portraits hadn’t been delivered and hung yet. According to a source with knowledge, the office is waiting on a separate federal office, the U.S. Government Publishing Office, to provide them.
Gary Somerset, the chief public relations officer at the Government Publishing Office, said in an email that his office is “standing by” to produce the official portraits of both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “as soon as the official photo files are provided to us.”
“I do not have a timeline on when GPO will receive those files from the White House,” Somerset said.
An email request sent to the press office at the White House for more information on the status of the official presidential portrait did not receive a response.
When asked about the delay, most former federal prosecutors were nonchalant. One lawyer, however, referred to the situation as “particularly odd.”
The U.S. attorney offices confirmed that they have received the official portrait of their new boss, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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