NYT writer accuses Trump of flushing documents down toilet
Trump’s team called the evidence “fabricated” and journalist Maggie Haberman “desperate”
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman released photos on Monday apparently showing former President Donald Trump’s handwritten notes flushed down two toilets, supposedly in violation of White House protocol. Trump himself ridiculed Haberman, and his office called her scoop “desperate.”
Published by Axios on Monday, the photos show two torn-up wads of notes, apparently in Trump’s handwriting, lodged in a pair of toilets, one in the White House and the other from an overseas trip.
The names ‘Rogers’ and ‘Stefanik’ are visible on the shredded notes, likely referencing Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama and Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York.
Trump has long been suspected of mishandling White House documents and briefing papers, with the Justice Department in May reportedly opening a probe into 15 boxes of letters, mementos and classified files that the former president is believed to have taken to his Florida residence after leaving Washington last year.
Haberman, who released the latest photos amid a promotional campaign for her upcoming book on Trump, claimed in February that Trump would clog White House toilets with shredded papers, apparently in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
Referring to Haberman as “Maggot,” Trump at the time said that her claims were “categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.”
Trump’s office struck a similar tone on Monday. “You have to be pretty desperate to sell books if pictures of paper in a toilet bowl is part of your promotional plan,” his spokesman, Taylor Budowich, told Axios. “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 anti-Trump."
Haberman was infamously mentioned in leaked emails belonging to former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, published by WikiLeaks in 2016. In a 2015 strategy document, Haberman was described by the Clinton campaign as a “friendly journalist” who had been hired to “tee up stories” beneficial to Democrats before, and would be useful in “shaping” a pro-Clinton narrative.