One of Donald and Melania Trump’s final small acts in a presidential transition charitably described as grudging was to send White House ushers home for the day on Wednesday morning, leaving the new first family to fend for themselves upon entering, according to the National Journal.
“The Trumps sent the butlers home when they left so there would be no one to help the Bidens when they arrived,” a well-placed official not associated with the incoming Biden team told National Journal.
Sources familiar with what happened confirm that Harleth, a former executive of Trump Hotels hired by Melania Trump, was summarily fired by the Trumps before they left-not by the Bidens, as has been widely reported.
Harleth was shown the door before the Bidens reached the door at the North Portico on Wednesday afternoon for their first official entrance as president and first lady.
“It’s a big protocol breach for the president to ever stand in front of a closed door at the White House,” a veteran White House social expert said.
Sidelining the ushers and sacking their boss amidst the most chaotic, intense several hours for any White House-moving one president and his family out and another in-was perhaps the final break with precedent at the end of a wholly unorthodox transition, several sources confirmed.
Neither Trump met with the Bidens, transition meetings were delayed by several weeks, and Trump administration officials withheld sensitive foreign policy and national security information.
Harleth was considered an unabashed Trump loyalist in White House circles but had told associates he was hoping to stay on with the new regime.
Former spokespersons from the Trump White House had no information about the matter.
Trump representatives in Florida and Harleth could not be reached for comment.