Former President Donald Trump.
- Trump aides instantly knew when the former president tore up documents, the Washington Post reported.
- His ripping style — clean tears horizontally and vertically — became so recognizable to aides.
- The former president is facing renewed scrutiny into the preservation of historical and important documents.
Former Trump administration aides instantly knew when a document had been torn by the former president, according to a report from The Washington Post.
Donald Trump had such a distinct style of ripping that became familiar to his aides, the Post reported. He would tear each document twice — once down the middle horizontally and once vertically — leaving the paper in four quarters. When the aides saw these documents torn up in this manner, according to the Post, they immediately knew Trump had done it.
The former president would then leave the documents scattered across desks and in trash cans all over the White House, the Post reported. Documents were also strewn across floors, and aides found them in the Oval Office and aboard Air Force One, the report said.
Scrutiny into the preservation of documents under the Trump administration started partly after New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman revealed in a forthcoming book that the president had clogged a toilet by flushing torn pieces of paper down it.
Trump, denied the report, slamming it as a “fake story.” It’s “categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book,” Trump said.
Recently, the National Archives and Records Administration, a US agency responsible for the preservation and documentation of government and historical records, said Trump had taken several boxes of official White House records to his Mar-a-Lago resort upon vacating office. Under the Presidential Records Act, he should have turned the records over to the agency upon leaving office.
In a statement from earlier this week, the agency said it has “arranged” transport for 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago.
The items that Trump improperly took to Florida with him include correspondence from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, with whom Trump said he exchanged “beautiful” love letters while in office, and a letter that former President Barack Obama left Trump in 2017, according to the Post.
The National Archives has subsequently asked the Justice Department to investigate if Trump broke the law by doing so, the Post reported.