While President Trump was in office, staff at the White House Residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging toilets — and believed the president had thrown out pieces of paper, Maggie Haberman scoops in his next book, “Confidence Man.”
Why is this important: The revelation of Haberman, whose coverage as a New York Times White House correspondent was obsessively followed by Trump, adds a stark new dimension to his shortcomings in preserving government records. Axios got an exclusive first look at some of its reporting.
Haberman reports Trump told People that since leaving office he had stayed in touch with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – whose ‘love letters’, as Trump once called them, were among the documents which the National Archives recovered at Mar-a-Lago.
Zoom out: News of the White House toilet flushing comes as the National Archives reportedly asked Biden’s Justice Department to review Trump’s handling of White House records, amid the probe into the Congress on the January 6 assault on the Capitol.
- The Washington Post reports that National Archives officials “suspected that Trump may have violated laws regarding the handling of government records.” The National Archives then recovered 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago, The Post reported.
- Archives officials found possible classified documents in the returned boxes, the New York Times has learned.
While in office, the former president blithely flouted the law on presidential archives, which required him to keep written communications concerning his official duties.
- Trump regularly tore up documents and, after leaving office, brought important written documents back to Mar-a-Lago.
- A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to a request for comment on the plumbing issue.
Enlarge: Haberman’s “Confidence Man” – subtitled “The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America” - will be published Oct. 4 by Penguin Press.
- The editor says it traces Trump’s beginnings in New York and “his decades of interactions with prosecutors” – then follows him through four years in the White House and on to his post-presidential life in Palm Beach.
The plot: This is the book Trump fears the most. Among Trump’s aides, Haberman’s book has been the most talked about from the library of books by journalists who have covered Trump’s campaigns and the White House.
- Several advisors were unhappy with her decision to speak to her as part of her marathon conversations with book authors at Mar-a-Lago. But they concluded that he couldn’t help it and that he couldn’t be stopped.
Haberman, A lifelong New Yorker, has covered Trump extensively since 2011, when she was a reporter at Politico. Previously, she got to know her Manhattan milieu as a reporter for the New York Post and the Daily News.