Donald Trump issued a strident denial on Thursday after news reports suggested that the 15 boxes of official White House documents recently retrieved from Mar-a-Lago may have included some highly classified materials and that White House plumbers were forced to extract wads of printed documents from stopped-up toilets in the executive mansion.
Trump claims to have “openly and willingly” engaged in “collaborative and respectful discussions” with the National Archives over the disposition of the materials which he describes as containing “letters, records, newspapers, magazines, and various articles” that will “will someday be displayed in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library for the public to view my Administration’s incredible accomplishments for the American People,” according to the statement posted on Twitter by his spokesperson Liz Harrington.
The former president goes on to attack the media for its reporting on the document scandal, calling the characterization of his interactions with the National Archives as “Fake News.”
Describing his discussions with the Archives as “routine and ‘no big deal,’ ” Trump focused on what an honor it was to work with the federal records depository to “help formally preserve the Trump Legacy.”
Claiming to have received legal advice that he was “under no obligation to give this material” to the archives despite the clear intent of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 passed in the wake of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, Trump took pains to compare his behavior positively in relation to the email scandal that he continues to wave over the head of “Crooked Hillary Clinton” despite the fact that endless Republican-led hearings and Justice Department investigations have yet to find a shred of evidence that would justify the Trump’s calls to “lock her up.”
Trump then goes onto insist that the account by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman from her upcoming book Confidence Man that Trump “flushed papers and documents down a White House toilet, is categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.”
Here is the full text of Trump’s statement:
Response to Trump’s statement on social media was skeptical to say the least.
I love your work
— Ann Marie (@AnnMarie285) February 10, 2022
Whatever Trump may be claiming at this point, it will be up to the Department of Justice to determine the truth of the matter and whether the former president should be prosecuted for his actions and prevented from holding federal office ever again.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.