Photograph by Alexander Ramjing via iStock.

As President Trump raged and obscured an election he couldn’t admit he lost, White House residence staff quietly packed their things, Kate Bennett reports for CNN:

As the president publicly protested against the elections, fraudulently claiming they were rigged and clinging to the false hope of staying in the White House, his wife was packing her things to move, according to several sources who observed the activities of Trump since late November.

The first lady has now more than half done the job of shipping the belongings either to Mar-a-Lago or to storage, after gradually overseeing the move for weeks. Staff at the residence had to help with the semi-clandestine operation, facilitating the logistics of packing without angering the president, who genuinely believed he would stay put.

Melania Trump, Bennett writes, “did nothing of significance at the end of her tenure weeks,” which could be disappointing to anyone who thought she could use her final days in Washington to reveal what her initiative meant Be Best. .

Empty cardboard boxes were delivered to the White House complex on Wednesday, NBC News reports, adding some texture to a CNN report that the Biden administration is planning an unusual deep cleaning of the White House, which has been a outbreak of Covid cases thanks to the President’s laissez-faire attitude in the face of the pandemic:

Government contracts and purchase orders reviewed by NBC News show the cost of the additional cleanup to be nearly half a million dollars. The top-to-bottom cleaning, first reported by CNN, goes beyond what typically happens with the well-choreographed change of residence performed by White House ushers, butlers and housekeepers, and it follows multiple coronavirus epidemics on White House grounds.

Trump’s decision to leave on January 19 means the White House can get fresh paint and wallpaper before Biden moves in, CNN reports:

Typically the window of time on grand opening day is not enough to update the paint and wallpaper around the house, but since there is more time now, thanks to what appears to be the early departure of the Trumps on January 19, the walls will be refreshed.

For anyone hungry for photos of Trump’s move, DC Photographer Erin Scott is a must: his photo of moving boxes went viral, and she also grabbed the moment when adviser Peter Navarro walked out with a photo of Trump in action.