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POLITICO decided to do its own deep dive into Trump’s office, with the help of four former White House officials. Here’s our best reported effort to figure out which mementos the 45th president chose to keep around him in his new Florida life — and what it says about how he views his legacy.

Photo of Air Force One over Washington: The West Wing in the White House has long featured a number of blown-up “jumbo” photos and this is one of Air Force One flying over Washington near the Ellipse and the White House in the backdrop on July 4th, 2020 as part of the “Salute to America.” Trump paid close attention to his presidential airplane, adding more television screens and ordering up a new color scheme to replace the jet’s iconic baby blue.

Photo of Marine One at Mount Rushmore: Trump held a July 4 event last year at Mount Rushmore, and this photo of his presidential helicopter flying in front of Mount Rushmore memorializes the event. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem gave Trump a $1,100 replica of the monument featuring Trump’s own face among the ex-presidents, but he appears to be missing here.

Newspaper: Before the picture was taken, Trump seems to have been leafing through the Wall Street Journal, a paper whose editorial board has criticized him for promoting false claims on voter fraud. Trump also issued a statement last month blasting the editors, saying: “The Wall Street Journal editorial page continues, knowingly, to fight for globalist policies such as bad trade deals, open borders, and endless wars that favor other countries and sell out our great American workers, and they fight for RINOS that have so badly hurt the Republican Party. That’s where they are and that’s where they will always be. Fortunately, nobody cares much about The Wall Street Journal editorial anymore.”

Desk: While Trump couldn’t take the 141-year old Resolute Desk from the Oval Office, he now has a similar-looking desk that appears to be the Telluride Wood Executive Desk from “Hooker Furniture.” The desk currently retails for $3,600 but is currently out of stock until late next month.

Chair: Trump used the same chair in the Oval Office, which he brought down from New York, according to a former White House official.

The infamous Sharpie: Trump also has at least one big black Sharpie — the fat, marker-like pen that he has wielded for years to write and autograph items for friends and allies, and occasionally to mark up critical articles he didn’t like and send it to the offending journalist.

Reading glasses: Trump is famously image-conscious and didn’t like to be seen wearing his reading glasses while in office, and few news photographers snapped pictures of him wearing them. The New York Times reported in 2019 that Trump often didn’t tweet when other people were around because he didn’t want to have to wear glasses to see his phone screen. Dan Scavino, his longtime social media expert, often printed out suggested tweets in large fonts so Trump could sign off on them.

Bottle of Coke: Trump, a long-time Diet Coke fanatic, appears to have a half-drunk glass bottle of Coke next to his phone even though he urged Americans to boycott Coca Cola, based in Georgia, for criticizing Georgia’s new law that restricts voting. In a statement last Saturday, Trump said: “Boycott Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS, and Merck. Don’t go back to their products until they relent. We can play the game better than them.”

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Plaque commemorating the border wall: The former president has a piece of the U.S.-Mexico border wall that was one of his main 2016 campaign promises. While Trump had promised a “big beautiful wall,” only 80 miles of new wall were built during his time in office out of a total of 452 miles of the wall built on his watch. The U.S. Border Patrol plaque praises Trump for “defending America’s borders.”
iPhone: Trump loved his iPhone, which he most famously used to tweet at all hours of the day to call up his friends that were part of his kitchen cabinet. Such calls often annoyed his aides, who fretted about what he was saying to his confidants.

iPhone: Trump loved his iPhone, which he most famously used to tweet at all hours of the day to call up his friends that were part of his kitchen cabinet. Such calls often annoyed his aides, who fretted about what he was saying to his confidants.

Wooden box: The box features Trump’s signature and a presidential seal on the top of it. While it’s unclear what he uses the box for, the former official said it might be where Trump keeps his trademark Sharpies.

Challenge coins rack: Challenge coins are coins often given to a recipient by a part or branch of the military, and they represent that division of the military. As president, Trump, who frequently extolled his buildup of the military, received numerous challenge coins. Trump also displayed these same challenge coins in the Oval Office.

Mug: Trump has kept a white mug with the presidential seal.

A statue of himself: No sources knew the provenance of this mini-bust of Trump, and a Trump spokesperson didn’t share any details about it when asked about it. A former senior White House official said it was “most likely a gift that was sent in. We’d get tons of those — paintings, statues, etc.”

Family photos: The photos are mostly photos that were also on the desk behind him in the Oval Office. Clockwise: his late father Fred Trump; Trump in a tuxedo; his children Eric, Ivanka, and Don Jr. in the back of Winfield House (the official residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the U.K.) when Trump went to the U.K. in June 2019; wife Melania Trump; Trump’s late mother Mary Anne MacLeod Trump; Trump and an unidentified other person walking in the West Wing Colonnade and an unidentified other photo. In the very middle of the desk is Trump with son Barron in New York, likely at Trump Tower. Trump only kept a few photos behind his desk for the first few years of his term, but then in the last 18 months, a number of more photos were added, according to a former White House official.

Lamps: The former White House official said the lamps are likely Mar-a-Lago lamps based on the decor of the resort.




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Queen sits alone at funeral for Prince Philip to set example

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Other royals who are in family bubbles are sitting together.

The service began with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby entering the chapel ahead of the coffin, followed by Philip’s children and three of his eight grandchildren, as a four-member choir sang “I am the resurrection and the life.”

Inside the Gothic chapel, the setting for centuries of royal weddings and funerals, the service was to be simple and somber. There will be no sermon, at Philip’s request, and no family eulogies or readings, in keeping with royal tradition. But Dean of Windsor David Conner will say the country has been enriched by Philip’s “unwavering loyalty to our queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.”

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Philip spent almost 14 years in the Royal Navy and saw action in the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific during World War II. Several elements of his funeral have a maritime theme, including the hymn “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” which is associated with seafarers and asks God: “O hear us when we cry to thee/For those in peril on the sea.”

Along with Philip’s children and grandchildren, the 30 funeral guests include other senior royals and several of his German relatives. Philip was born a prince of Greece and Denmark and, like the queen, is related to a thicket of European royal families.


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FBI says it interviewed FedEx mass shooter last year

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The shooter was identified as Brandon Scott Hole, 19, of Indianapolis, Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt told a news conference. Investigators searched a home in Indianapolis associated with Hole and seized evidence, including desktop computers and other electronic media, McCartt said.

Hole began firing randomly at people in the parking lot of the FedEx facility late Thursday, killing four, before entering the building, fatally shooting four more people and then turning the gun on himself, McCartt said. He said he did not know if Hole owned the gun legally.

“There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” he said. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”

McCartt said the slayings took place in a matter of minutes, and that there were at least 100 people in the facility at the time. Many were changing shifts or were on their dinner break, he said. Several people were wounded, including five who were taken to the hospital.

“You deserved so much better than this,” a man who identified himself as the grandson of Johal tweeted Friday evening. Johal had planned to work a double shift Thursday so she could take Friday off, according to the grandson, who would not give his full name but identifies himself as “Komal” on his Twitter page. Johal later decided to grab her check and go home, and still had the check in her hand when police found her, Komal said.

“(What) a harsh and cruel world we live in,” he added.

Smith, the youngest of the victims, was last in contact with her family shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, family members said in social media posts late Friday. Dominique Troutman, Smith’s sister, waited hours at the Holiday Inn for an update on her sister. “Words can’t even explain how I feel. … I’m so hurt,” Troutman said in a Facebook post Friday night.

Weisert had been working as a bag handler at FedEx for four years, his wife, Carol, told WISH-TV. The couple was married nearly 50 years.

President Joe Biden said he had been briefed on the shooting and called gun violence “an epidemic” in the U.S.

“Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation,” he said in a statement. Later, he tweeted, “We can, and must, do more to reduce gun violence and save lives.”

A FedEx employee said he was working inside the building Thursday night when he heard several gunshots in rapid succession.

“I see a man come out with a rifle in his hand and he starts firing and he starts yelling stuff that I could not understand,” Levi Miller told WTHR-TV. “What I ended up doing was ducking down to make sure he did not see me because I thought he would see me and he would shoot me.”

Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, said Friday that agents questioned Hole last year after his mother called police to say that her son might commit “suicide by cop.” He said the FBI was called after items were found in Hole’s bedroom but he did not elaborate on what they were. He said agents found no evidence of a crime and that they did not identify Hole as espousing a racially motivated ideology. A police report obtained by The Associated Press shows that officers seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole’s home after responding to the mother’s call. Keenan said the gun was never returned.

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McCartt said Hole was a former employee of FedEx and last worked for the company in 2020. The deputy police chief said he did not know why Hole left the job or if he had ties to the workers in the facility. He said police have not yet uncovered a motive for the shooting.

Police Chief Randal Taylor noted that a “significant” number of employees at the FedEx facility are members of the Sikh community, and the Sikh Coalition later issued a statement saying it was “sad to confirm” that at least four of those killed were community members.

The coalition, which identifies itself as the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the U.S., said in the statement that it expected authorities to “conduct a full investigation — including the possibility of bias as a factor.”

Varun Nikore, executive director of the AAPI Victory Alliance, a national advocacy group for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, said in a statement that the shootings marked “yet another senseless massacre that has become a daily occurrence in this country.”

Nikore remarked that gun violence in the U.S. “is reflective of all of the spineless politicians who are beholden to the gun lobby.”

FedEx Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Smith called the shooting a “senseless act of violence.”

“This is a devastating day, and words are hard to describe the emotions we all feel,” he wrote in an email to employees.

The killings marked the latest in a string of recent mass shootings across the country and the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed in the city in January, and a man was accused of killing three adults and a child before abducting his daughter during at argument at a home in March. In other states last month, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses in the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the community must guard against resignation and “the assumption that this is simply how it must be and we might as well get used to it.”


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Gaetz ex-girlfriend feared alleged sex-trafficking victim taped call for feds

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Gaetz’s former girlfriend has played a bit role in the unfolding public drama — she is the woman who sent the lawmaker a nude video of her performing a hula hoop dance that he showed to other members of Congress.

But two of her friends, who declined to be identified publicly because of the sensational nature of the case, say she now suspects she was being set up when the alleged victim and another woman involved in the case called her to discuss the lawmaker in what she fears might have been a recorded conference call. The call took place sometime after Greenberg was indicted for the sex crime in August.

The friends did not provide details about exactly what was discussed, but one recounted that Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend said she was opposed to talking to authorities and is now worried that prosecutors might try to charge her with obstructing justice in order to get to Gaetz.

Tim Jansen, an attorney for Gaetz’s former girlfriend, declined to comment about his client. Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Scheller, also declined to talk. Gaetz has strongly denied allegations he engaged in any sex crimes.

The three women on the call were all present on a September 2018 trip to the Bahamas that authorities think may shed light on the allegations against Gaetz. Also present on that trip: Gaetz and two other Florida Republican political players, former Orlando-area aviation authority member and Gov. Ron DeSantis fundraiser Jason Pirozzolo and former state Rep. Halsey Beshears.

POLITICO is withholding the names of the women who went to the Bahamas, including his ex-girlfriend, because of the sensitive nature of the case and the allegations that while there, some of the women engaged in prostitution.

As the investigation intensified this winter, Beshears abruptly resigned in January as Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary — a post that made him the state’s top business regulator — noting he had contracted Covid-19. About that time, federal authorities seized the iPhones of Gaetz and his former girlfriend.

Federal authorities are examining the Bahamas trip to see if it violated the Mann Act, which forbids transporting people across state lines to engage in prostitution. One woman on the trip told POLITICO that no one engaged in prostitution.

The alleged victim in the sex-trafficking case had turned 18 almost nine months before the Bahamas trip. But Gaetz has acknowledged he’s the subject of a federal investigation into whether he had improper involvement with her as a 17-year-old.

A source familiar with the investigation wouldn’t say whether the alleged victim was cooperating with authorities. But when asked if she has been talking for months with the federal government, the source said “100 percent.”

While the alleged sex-trafficking victim is key to the case against Greenberg and the allegations against Gaetz, the lawmaker’s ex-girlfriend could play a pivotal role in the investigation of the trip, as well as other related controversies.

Gaetz was criticized for allegedly showing the hula hoop video to congressional colleagues, and he was also accused of engaging in revenge porn against his former girlfriend. But two of her friends say the woman, in her early 20s, did not object to him showing it to friends — provided he didn’t send it to others or post it on social media — because she was proud of her appearance and performance.

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“This is the best I will ever look in my life,” a friend who saw the video recalled her saying. “That’s how she is. It’s not revenge porn.”

The former girlfriend first met Gaetz while she attended college in the Orlando area in 2017. Greenberg, who established contact with her on the SeekingArrangement website — a dating website that connects women with so-called sugar daddies — made the connection. Soon after, she began dating Gaetz, although the relationship was not exclusive, friends said.

Gaetz later got her a job interning in the office of another Republican member of Congress, but that member let her go when it was discovered she was a Democrat, according to Democratic Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando, who promptly hired her when Gaetz told him of the matter.

Soto, who is not involved in the investigation, would not name the Republican lawmaker or comment about the case. But he said the woman was a hard worker in his office and that he had no complaints about her, other than some inquiries about whether Gaetz’s relationship with the intern was inappropriate.

“We wanted to protect her privacy from the media. She was just an intern,” Soto said. “I’ll also say she was fired by a Republican for being a Democrat. I found it offensive that she was fired for her political beliefs.”

Gaetz and the ex-girlfriend continued to date until well after the Bahamas trip in 2018. Friends said the two remained on good terms, although she was a source of friction between the lawmaker and Beshears. Beshears had apparently been taking her out on dates in Tallahassee, including a trip to the Florida State University president’s skybox at Doak Campbell Stadium, mutual friends said.

At the time, Beshears had recently been left by another girlfriend after she learned about the Bahamas trip. Beshears, then a state legislator, had flown several of the women on his private plane, which was briefly detained by U.S. Customs upon its return to Florida for questioning about the ages of several of the young women on the trip.

“Here was Halsey with three young women who could have been his daughters, and a Customs agent was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on here?‘” said a source who was familiar with the incident.

Speaking to the partying group and the drama surrounding them, a different mutual friend said: “Tallahassee is like high school. But no one ever graduates.”


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