Wads of printed paper regularly clogged White House toilet during Trump era, book claims

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Former President Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump


White House staffers regularly found ripped-up printed paper clogging a toilet in the presidential residence when former President Trump lived there, according to an upcoming book from New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.

Axios reports that Haberman's new book, "Confidence Man," notes that White House staffers regularly found printed paper clogging a toilet in the president's residence, leading them to conclude that Trump had flushed pieces of paper down the toilet.

Appearing on CNN's "New Day" on Thursday, Haberman said that she "learned that staff in the White House residence would periodically find the toilet clogged."

"The engineer would have to come and fix it and what the engineer would find would be ... wads of clumped-up printed wet paper," she said.

According to Haberman, the documents could have been anything from "Post-its" or "notes he wrote to himself."

Although she could not give an exact number on how many times papers were found in the toilet, Haberman said that she was told that it happened "periodically."

Trump in a statement on Thursday called the claim "categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book."

He also said the return of White House documents to the Archives was "viewed as routine and 'no big deal.'"

Trump is known to have ripped up documents frequently, leading to staffers to tape them back together before they were sent to the National Archives and Records Administration, as is required by the Presidential Records Act.

The National Archives confirmed last month that some of the documents it received from the Trump administration had been ripped up and taped back together.

"White House records management officials during the Trump Administration recovered and taped together some of the torn-up records," the agency said at the time. "These were turned over to the National Archives at the end of the Trump Administration, along with a number of torn-up records that had not been reconstructed by the White House."

Trump's handling of White House documents has been under renewed scrutiny after the National Archives transferred contested documents to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

The Washington Post reported earlier this week that 15 boxes of documents that had been improperly stored at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida had also been recovered by the Archives.

It was also reported by The New York Times on Wednesday that possible classified material had been found in the documents recovered by the National Archives, prompting the agency to contact the Department of Justice.

Updated at 8:34 a.m.