Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Staffers must tape back together presidential records Trump rips up, report says

Staffers must tape back together presidential records Trump rips up, report says

Armed with rolls of clear Scotch tape, Solomon Lartey and his team sift through large piles of shredded paper and put them back together, Lartey told Politico, "like a jigsaw puzzle".

Presidential records must be preserved and transferred to the national archives under USA law which "places the responsibility for the custody and management of incumbent presidential records with the president".

It spoke to former staffers who say they had to ensure the Trump administration did not break the law about preserving presidential records.

Solomon Lartey, who had almost 30 years' experience as a government official, said he and his colleagues would sift through large piles of shredded paper and piece them together "like a jigsaw puzzle". The policy requires that all memos, letters, documents and papers touched by the president be kept as historical records in the National Archives.

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

"I had a letter from Schumer - he tore it up", Lartey said. "It was the craziest thing ever".

But Trump has the odd habit of ripping up papers when he's done with them - what some aides call his unofficial "filing system". Instead, aides reportedly clean up Trump's paper scraps - which range from papers that are torn in two and thrown in the trash to documents that have been ripped into tiny pieces that resemble confetti and tossed on the floor - and ship them over to the records office, according to the people familiar with the task.

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His colleague, Mr Young, worked as a senior records management analyst.

Lartey said he was just a few years away from his retiring with full benefits when the Trump administration fired him.

"I was stunned", Lartey said.

Mr Trump and the White House have not yet commented on the Politico report.

"I'm looking at my director, and saying, 'Are you guys serious?'" Young told Politico. "Some nights, I cried and I was mad because I got comfortable".

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

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.

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