Today we bring you to the White House, a place plagued by both cockroaches and massive sinkholes, for a special investigation into a days-long mystery currently unfolding in the press briefing room: Who's behind this bag of wet, dirty socks?
The unsanitary hosiery in question first surfaced last Thursday, when the Daily Caller's Saagar Enjeti captured evidence of the bag resting next to what appears to be a fully socked and shoed foot. Five days later, the bag was still there—only now, suspiciously, it had been tucked into a dark corner.
Now it's been more than a week since the socks were first detected, and critical questions remain unanswered. Namely, whose socks are they? How did they get there? Why are they in a Ziploc bag? Are they still wet from some unidentifiable liquid? And why, God, hasn't anyone just thrown them away?
No one in the press corps seems to have any answers, and the White House has been mum on the fiasco. Left with no other choice, we've taken it upon ourselves—through a thorough process of logical reasoning, cyber-detection, and admittedly unverifiable (though crucial) guesswork—to investigate.
The biggest question here is why the socks were removed in the first place. Had a female reporter showed up to work in sneakers before changing into heels, wary of the president's draconian request that women "dress like women?" Or maybe some reporter, running late after a morning spin class with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, just didn't have the time to finish changing at the gym.
And why were the socks wet? A quick scan of the forecast from May 17 shows that it stormed that day, which could explain things: Maybe someone got caught in the rain, and—feet drenched by the time they made it inside—decided they needed to ditch their soggy socks and, perhaps more disturbingly, went barefoot at work.
But it's possible the liquid could just be sweat, seeing as they appear to be "crusty" now. Do they belong to one of the Olympians Trump hosted in April? It looks like we can rule Sylvester Stallone out: He was hanging out at the White House Thursday, but the timeline doesn't add up for his socks to have been left on May 17.
The most likely culprit, based on the fact that the socks were found in the press briefing room, would be a reporter. But which one? Could it be Jim Acosta, whose notoriously contentious exchanges with Trump spokespersons inspired some kind of sick, sock-related revenge? Or maybe it was Enjeti himself, adopting the perfect cover for his crime.
Then again, there's an off chance the culprit might not be a member of the press corps at all, but instead an employee of the White House itself—an intern, maybe, or perhaps one of those Presidential Personnel Office bros who spilled a little Smirnoff Ice.
But a look at past podiatric scandals at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. points to just one logical suspect: Omarosa Manigault. It's well documented that the former whatever-she-was left her shoes scattered all over the White House. But what did she do with her socks? Could she have deposited them in Ziploc bags and squirreled them away in discreet corners of the building? And could one of those very bags have wound up in the press briefing room? An interesting and, dare we say, plausible theory indeed.
In many ways, the case of the abandoned socks is baffling. And yet, at the same time, it makes almost too much sense: In a White House this short-staffed, this dysfunctional, and this terrible at basic housekeeping, it seems fitting that a disgusting bag of socks would go unnoticed and ignored for days.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.