Last month, 15 boxes of materials from Donald Trump’s presidency were retrieved from his home at Mar-a-Lago by employees of the National Archives – boxes that contained, among other things, letters from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and former President Barack Obama.
The news comes after CNN reported that National Archives staff had to tape together some Trump White House documents that were provided to the House committee investigating January 6 because they had been ripped up.
CNN’s Gabby Orr had more Monday on Trump’s paper-ripping habit, writing:
“Three former White House officials told CNN they saw Trump, on numerous occasions, manually destroy papers he was no longer interested in or had finished reviewing – a practice that made it difficult for White House staff secretaries to preserve presidential records. Those officials said the former President sorted through file boxes in a rather methodical way – tearing up newspaper clippings or drafts of tweets that he had rejected and tossing them to the floor, or stacking papers he wished to hang on to in a disorderly stack atop his desk.”
This is a very big deal. And should be getting much more attention than it currently is.
Consider what we know about Trump: At every turn, he sought to stretch the rules of the modern presidency to a breaking point. He leaned on the Justice Department to do his bidding. He called election officials to urge them to “find” more votes that were favorable to him. He implored the Ukrainian president to look into a likely 2020 general election opponent. And on and on and on.
The defining trait of Trump’s time in office was how little regard he had for the limitations that even the highest of offices had. He ran roughshod over everyone and everything in his way. He expressed little concern for the way things had always been done. He was reckless in the extreme.
Plus, he didn’t tell the truth. Like, a lot.