Haberman: Trump Clogged WH Toilets Getting Rid of Papers

Revelation on clogged WH toilets emerges in advance of 'NYT' reporter's new book
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2022 9:15 AM CST
Report: WH Staff Thinks Trump Flushed Papers Down Toilet
A toilet free of presidential documents.   (Getty Images/ByoungJoo)

Earlier this week, a report emerged on the National Archives' retrieval of multiple boxes of records—including possible classified materials—that former President Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago after he left office. That piece followed previous detailing of the former president's apparent longtime penchant for ripping up papers after he was done with them. Now, what Axios calls a "vivid new dimension" to Trump's continual apparent flouting of the Presidential Records Act, courtesy of a book due out soon by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.

According to early reporting from Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, set to hit shelves in October, Trump is suspected of also using the little boy's room to dispose of documents, in a way that caused headaches for White House plumbers. "I learned that staff in the White House residence would periodically find the toilet clogged," Haberman told CNN's New Day on Thursday. "And what the engineer would find would be wads of ... either notes or some other piece of paper that, you know, they believe [Trump] had thrown down the toilet." Haberman added: "It was not, as I was told, an isolated incident."

She noted it wasn't clear exactly what the clumped-up wet papers were—"it could be Post-its, it could be notes he wrote to himself, it could be other things, we don't know"—but that it did raise new questions on how Trump handled paperwork that he, as president, was obligated to save. The Week notes that Haberman's report may lend context to why Trump seemed at one point during his presidency to be obsessed with toilet flushing power. Among the other nuggets in Haberman's book: Since he once more became a private citizen, Trump has told others that he's kept in touch with Kim Jong Un—which might explain why he felt compelled to hang onto his letters with the North Korean leader, which were among the items said to have been found in the boxes retrieved by the National Archives.

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Trump isn't speaking about his Kim correspondence, but on Thursday morning he did address the "fake story" of Flushgate in a statement, calling it "categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book." He also noted that the documents taken back by the National Archives "were given easily and without conflict and on a very friendly basis," even though he says he was told "I was under no obligation to give this material based on various legal rulings that have been made over the years." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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