Papers from Mar-a-Lago meetings, visits among those torn up by Trump

myPalmBeachPost by Christine Stapleton

June 12, 2018


It’s become a daily, White House ritual of sorts: A team of federal employees equipped with rolls of clear tape resume the ongoing, humpty-dumpty task of putting back together pieces of documents that President Donald Trump has torn up. It is a presidential habit that aides have not been able to break — and which apparently extends in reach to his Palm Beach club.

Federal law requires all presidential documents, from diaries to drafts of speeches to scribbled notes, be retained, both for current reference points and for the historical record. But Trump, as laid out in a June 10 article in Politico, isn’t so committed to such record-keeping.

The political journal’s story cited two former employees who stated on the record that the president routinely tears up documents, often shredding them himself. The employees, Solomon Lartey and Reginald Young, Jr., said federal workers collect the pieces of paper from the West Wing and the president’s personal residence and tape the bits of paper back together to restore the historical record as completely as possible.

But what happens when the president rips up documents when he is on a weekend foray to Mar-a-Lago or his Bedminster, N.J., retreat? Or, say, on official diplomatic trips to Singapore or Canada?

Is someone assigned to go through the trash and scour the floors of Mar-a-Lago for pieces of paper when the president visits his private club? It seems so, Lartey said in an interview this week with The Palm Beach Post.

“I remember some paperwork coming back from Florida,” said Lartey, a former records management analyst whose job it was to tape together pieces of documents the president treated like trash. Most of the pieces were newspaper articles the president did not like — including one from a local newspaper in Palm Beach, Lartey said.

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