Donald Trump denies flushing documents down toilet

Book by 'New York Times' reporter Maggie Haberman says White House staff 'periodically found papers had clogged toilet'

The reports follow recent claims — which Donald Trump has rejected — that he had mishandled presidential documents. EPA
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Former US president Donald Trump on Thursday denied a recent report that he flushed presidential documents down the toilet at the White House.

The reports follow recent claims — which Mr Trump has rejected — that he had mishandled documents after the National Archives seized records from his current residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

The New York Times's Maggie Haberman, author of coming book on Mr Trump called The Confidence Man, said in a tweet: “White House residence staff periodically found papers had clogged a toilet, leaving staff believing Mr Trump had flushed material he'd ripped into pieces.”

In a statement, Mr Trump called the report “categorically untrue” and “fake”. The former president accused the report of being “simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book".

The US National Archives on Wednesday asked the Justice Department to investigate Mr Trump for his handling of the papers after it was discovered that the former president kept 15 boxes of presidential records at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

The Presidential Records Act requires all documents to be handed over to the National Archives at the end of a president's administration.

Mr Trump said the “papers were given easily and without conflict and on a very friendly basis” and made an unsubstantiated claim that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had “acid-washed 32,000 emails".

The National Archives said Mr Trump had “torn up some of the documents” and they had to be taped back together. The records administration added that some of the documents were still in pieces.

Some of the mementos included Barack Obama's presidential handover letter and Mr Trump's “love letters” from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Mr Trump has remained in contact with the North Korean leader since leaving the White House, Haberman's book claims.

The Confidence Man follows Mr Trump's early life in New York and his interactions with prosecutors up through his presidential and post-presidential years. Haberman extensively covered the Trump administration for the Times and has been a frequent target of his criticisms.

Updated: February 11, 2022, 4:11 AM