Trump: Return of documents to Archives viewed as routine and ‘no big deal’
Former President Trump on Thursday responded to recent reports about his handling of White House records, claiming that the recent transfer of documents to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from his resort in Florida was viewed as “no big deal.”
In a statement, Trump said he arranged for boxes containing “letters, records, newspapers, magazines, and various articles” to be transported to the National Archives after “collaborative and respectful discussions.”
“The media’s characterization of my relationship with NARA is Fake News. It was exactly the opposite! It was a great honor to work with NARA to help formally preserve the Trump Legacy,” he said.
Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that the National Archives had recovered 15 boxes of White House records from Mar-a-Lago. The New York Times later reported that possibly classified materials had been discovered among the recovered documents.
“The papers were given easily and without conflict and on a very friendly basis, which is different from the accounts being drawn up by the Fake News Media,” Trump said on Thursday. “In fact, it was viewed as routine and ‘no big deal.’ In actuality, I have been told I was under no obligation to give this material based on various legal rulings that have been made over the years.”
Trump also pushed back against reports that documents were regularly found flushed down the toilet in the presidential residence during his time in office, calling the claim “categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.”
New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman included the anecdote in her upcoming book, “Confidence Man,” and said in an interview with CNN on Thursday that she was told that documents were “periodically” flushed down a toilet in the White House residence.
Last month, the National Archives transferred more than 700 pages of presidential documents that Trump had sought to block to the House elect committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
In a lawsuit filed against the committee, Trump called the request a “vexatious, illegal fishing expedition openly endorsed by Biden and designed to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration.”
However, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision to allow the documents to be transferred, saying in its decision that Trump’s “status as a former President necessarily made no difference to the court’s decision.”
Updated at 8:45 a.m.
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