Omarosa says Trump ‘loved to tear up’ White House documents
Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman alleged in an interview that former President Trump “loved to tear up those documents,” after the the National Archives said last week that documents handed over to the Jan. 6 committee “included paper records had been torn up” by Trump.
In an interview with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Manigault Newman alleged that there are “certainly things that I’m sure cannot be accounted for because Donald Trump became very very aware that a lot of these sensitive documents would at some point be made public.”
“After [Trump attorney] Michael Cohen left the office and I walked in to the Oval, Donald — in my view — was chewing what he had just torn up,” she said on MSNBC.
“It was very bizarre because he is a germophobe he never puts paper in his mouth,” Manigault Newman said on the show.
Manigault Newman, who was fired by then-White House chief of staff John Kelly in 2017, has since emerged as a vocal Trump critic.
She had previously described the same alleged incident in her 2018 book, titled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” writing that she saw Trump chewing up a piece of paper following a meeting with Cohen, his personal lawyer at the time.
“His habit of tearing these things up … my heart truly goes out to the people responsible for going in the trash bins [and] recovering these things,” Manigault Newman said in the interview.
Manigault Newman added that the White House staff once got a briefing on Presidential records and said “we had been told that if you’re with the president and he hands you something … you have to account for that.”
She said it “makes me worry” that there are a lot of documents that may not be accounted for and added “that there may be documents that can tell the full story about what happened on the days leading up to January 6th, for instance, that we may never see or may never come to light.”
Trump did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.
Manigault Newman’s comments come as the National Archives and Records Administration retrieved multiple White House record boxes last month that were improperly kept at former President Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago property.
The Presidential Records Act, which was put in place following the Watergate scandal, requires administrations to document and maintain records of the White House decisionmaking process. However, Politico reported in 2018 that Trump had habit of destroying files, and said that he preferred to tear them up once finished with them.