President Obama is apparently refusing to renovate the Oval Office — and has instead decided to pass the buck to Donald Trump, who may be forced to work somewhere else for a quarter of his term now as a result of the numerous security upgrades that will be going on inside the room.
“My understanding is that for the first year of his time in office, President Trump will not have the Oval Office,” former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove told Fox News on Wednesday.
President Obama could have told the Secret Service, ‘I know you want to modernize the Oval Office with security enhancements — literally strip it down to the bare walls and build it back up so we’ve got bullet proof glass and so forth and so on, security arrangements in it, in my last year in office,’ but instead he said, ‘Why don’t you do that.
According to Rove, Trump may likely have to spend up to a quarter of his term working out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across the street from the presidential seat of power — which is where President Richard Nixon recorded some his infamous White House tapes.
“My understanding is, [Trump] will spend most of his first year using Richard Nixon’s old office in the Old Executive Office Building across executive drive and up the Navy steps,” Rove said.
The decision to not renovate the Oval Office may ultimately come as a surprise to some, seeing as President Obama chose to redecorate the room completely in 2010 — adorning it with big, cushy sofas and striped wallpaper.
“It [looked] much more comfortable and less intimidating,” Elle Decor editor-in-chief Michael Boodro said at the time.
In 2013, RealClearPolitics reported that a replica Oval Office was being constructed in the EEOB and expected to be completed later that year, but the plans were eventually scrapped.
A “Deep Underground Command Center” underneath the West Wing — which was first proposed in 1963 — has been in the works since 2010 and some believe it may be already completed.