Journalist Maggie Haberman, ahead of the release of a forthcoming book, has just released photos purporting to validate her earlier claims that staffers in the Trump White House routinely discovered torn pieces of paper clogging the former president’s toilet in a suggestion that documents were regularly disposed of in this most unconventional – and potentially illegal – manner, according to The Hill.
The photos in question were shared with the Axios news outlet Monday, and they appear to depict a toilet bowl with scraps of paper with handwritten notes on them.
SCOOP: Maggie Haberman’s new book about former President Trump will report that White House staff periodically found wads of paper clogging a toilet — and believed the former president was the flusher.
📷 Well, it turns out there are photos. https://t.co/GJyxxtOjH9
— Axios (@axios) August 8, 2022
Haberman, who writes for the New York Times, said to Axios, “That Mr. Trump was discarding documents in this way was not widely known within the West Wing, but some aides were aware of the habit, which he engaged in repeatedly.”
The journalist’s assertions first came to light back in February, and she reiterated her faith in their accuracy this week, saying, according to the New York Post, “People are going to make all kinds of jokes about toilets and so forth. It would still be a story if it was a fireplace.”
“And the point is about the destruction of records which are supposed to be preserved under the Presidential Records Act, which is a Watergate-era creation,” Haberman added.
Earlier this year, when Haberman initially made the claims of document destruction, Trump declared them “another fake story” as well as “categorically untrue” and “simply made up.”
In the wake of the photos’ emergence this week, a Trump spokesperson said, “You have to be pretty desperate to sell books if pictures of paper in a toilet bowl is part of your promotional plan. We know… there’s enough people willing to fabricate stories like this in order to impress the media class – a media class who is willing to run with anything, as long as it is anti-Trump.”
Trump, it should be noted, has faced other accusations of improper document handling, including claims from the National Archives that he wrongly kept classified White House documents at his Florida home, but whether Haberman’s contentions ultimately hold water, so to speak, only time will tell.