Monday, 27 May, 2019

Trump habit of ripping up documents a headache for record-keepers

Ex-WH aides describe 'adult puzzle' of taping up Trump's torn-up documents Ex-WH aide says he was tasked with taping together Trump's torn-up papers
Deanna Wagner | 12 June, 2018, 04:16

"We got Scotch tape, the clear kind", Lartey recalled in an interview.

Staffers said that under former President Obama, records were carefully preserved and sent to the National Archives in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.

When staffers realised they wouldn't be able to break the president of this now potentially illegal habit, they made a decision to clean it up for him, in order to make sure he wasn't violating the law, Politico reported.

Lartey, who'd worked in government for nearly three decades before he was sacked, says he and others would tackle mounds of shredded paper, putting pieces back together "like a jigsaw puzzle".

Once restored, the documents would be sent to the National Archives.

Lartey said he saw everything from invitations to a letter to Trump from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Another unnamed sourced told Politico that Trump would tear up "anything that happened to be on his desk that he was done with", and that aides were unable to prompt the president to break his habit. "It was the craziest thing ever".

Politico reports that Trump usually rips up papers when he's done with them, and tosses them in the trash or on the floor - a process some people described as his "filing system".

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One of his colleagues, Reginald Young Jr., who worked as a senior records management analyst, said that during over two decades of government service, he had never been asked to do such a thing. "We used to have to piece together all of these torn papers, and we weren't supposed to tell anybody".

Lartey wasn't the only records management analyst to complain about the absurdity and indignity of his job.

'We're making more than $60,000 (£45,000) a year, we need to be doing far more important things than this.

Lartey and Young Jr. both admitted to that they had never been given such a weird task in all their years serving in office.

Lartey said the entire White House records management department was tasked with reassembling the documents with Scotch tape.

"When she walked me out and took my badge and the gate close behind me - it was like, damn, that's 20 years of White House service, gone", Lartey said. "I asked them, 'Why can't you all tell me something?' I had gotten comfortable".

If Trump and his new pal Scott Pruitt ever get exhausted of bashing Jeff Sessions, they can trade tips on utterly frivolous ways to waste taxpayer money and torture underlings.