Earlier today, Donald Trump tweeted what he said was a three-week-old picture of himself writing his inaugural address from a desk in his Palm Beach mansion Mar-a-Lago, or, sorry, the “Winter White House.”
As tends to be the case with the president-elect’s social-media statements, there is much to discuss. First, there’s the fact that Trump seems to be drafting his first speech as POTUS with a … Sharpie. And second, perhaps more important, there’s the question of Trump’s desk, which, as Twitter user @missdewey points out, appears to be one usually occupied by an administrative or hospitality professional — a receptionist or concierge, maybe — in a public hall at Mar-a-Lago, and not in a private office.
Live by Twitter, die by Twitter! Or, at least, have your photographs picked apart on Twitter. As @missdewey’s tweet, which pulls an Instagram picture from @palmbeachshowgroup back in October 2015, shows, the woman in the photo appears to be seated at the exact same desk pictured in Trump’s tweet. After some extensive Googling, Select All has determined the desk in question is located not in a private Mar-a-Lago suite, but in what appears to be a usually public hallway. (You can also find an image of the hall in the photo gallery on the Mar-a-Lago website here.) To see it for yourself, please take note at about the 2:25 mark of this handy video from HGTV. In case you’re not yet convinced, take a closer look at the detailing on the distinctive tile walls behind the desk in both pictures.
Given the Instagram photo was from a public event, it seems highly unlikely this desk is located in the Trumps’ private residence. But it is possible that Trump closed off this particular hallway over the holidays (and cleared that desk of its computer), so as to give himself a quiet space to work. “Trump and his family live in a private, closed-off residence within the main club house, the rest of which is open to members,” the New York Post reported in November. “Occasionally, Trump will have communal spaces sequestered off for private family events like a movie night, but typically, the president-elect dines and hobnobs right alongside fellow members.”
So we’re not saying that Trump didn’t write his speech, in Sharpie, on a legal pad, at this desk, with its magnificent and inspirational eagle statue. Obviously he did; why would the president-elect stage such a photograph? It seems clear the Secret Service cleared out Mar-a-Lago, to give Trump the privacy and quiet he needed, and he chose that particular hallway desk to begin writing his speech. Which is his right, as Mar-a-Lago’s owner.
Now, look, far be it from the staff of Select All to judge the president-elect’s choice of venue. Lord knows we have worked, by choice and by necessity, on some odd and unfortunate surfaces. But … well, we are a little bit concerned that the only workspace in the newly dubbed “Winter White House” is a desk usually reserved for a receptionist and her computer. Surely there is a co-working space in Palm Beach?