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Most Americans probably never gave much thought to the White House toilets, but here we are in 2022 talking about them. According to Maggie Haberman’s upcoming book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, the toilets at the residence didn’t always flush because they were reportedly clogged with papers — documents that the National Archives has been trying to get their hands on.
New details from Haberman’s publication, reported by Axios, suggest that “staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper.” The lax level of record-keeping has been an issue for the Trump administration and drawn some concerns from Washington, D.C. insiders because it could “pose a real concern if the next administration is flying blind without that information.” The Presidential Records Act exists because it is the “only way that a president can really be held accountable long term,” presidential historian Lindsay Chervinsky told The Washington Post.
President Donald J. Trump:
"Following collaborative and respectful discussions, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) openly and willingly arranged with President Trump for the transport of boxes that contained letters, records, newspapers, magazines… pic.twitter.com/4r1wnufbWI
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) February 10, 2022
But Trump has dismissed Haberman’s revelations, calling it “categorically untrue” in a statement per his spokesperson, Liz Harrington. “Also, another fake story, that I 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,” he wrote. “The Democrats are just using this and the Unselect Committee of political hacks as a camouflage for how horribly our Country is doing under the Biden Administration.”
Both sides stand by their story, but The National Archives and Records Administration retrieved 15 boxes of documents (with some torn-up and taped papers) at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week. And yes, every president has had to address issues with record-keeping after they left office, but this Trump story feels like it won’t wash away any time soon.
Before you go, click here to see the biggest presidential scandals in US History.