Donald Trump Likes To Rip Up Documents, So White House Pays People To Tape Them
President Donald Trump’s unique filing system consists of tearing documents to shreds – whether or not they must be preserved under the law – and having White House staff tape them back together.
“We got Scotch tape, the clear kind,” Solomon Lartey, a records analyst with 30 years of government experience who was tasked with fixing the shredded documents, told Politico in an interview. “You found pieces and taped them back together and you gave it back to the supervisor.” The papers were then sent to the National Archives to be filed away.
The Presidential Records Act states the White House must preserve all memos, letters, papers and emails the president touches and send them to the National Archives. However, White House aides reported realized that they could do nothing to stop Trump from ripping documents apart when he was finished with them, so they would simply tape them back together so that the president was not breaking the law. Lartey said his whole department was given this task.
Lartey said papers he had received included newspaper clips on which Trump had written notes and circles words; invitations; and letters from constituents and lawmakers on the Hill, such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer’s letter was viciously ripped apart.
One of Lartey’s colleagues, Reginald Young Jr., said he had never had to do such a thing in his decades of experience.
“I’m looking at my director, and saying, ‘Are you guys serious?’ We’re making more than $60,000 a year, we need to be doing far more important things than this,” Young told Politico. “It felt like the lowest form of work you can take on without having to empty the trash cans.”
Luckily, Young did not have to empty trash cans, as the president reportedly likes to throw the scraps of paper on the floor for others to collect.
Young and Lartey mentioned that this never happened under the Obama administration, as former President Barack Obama had an eye for preserving historical documents. The two also said that there are still staff assigned to taping up the president’s documents, though the number has decreased as career government officials have been terminated in large numbers.
Lartey, 54, and Young, 48, were both career government officials who were abruptly terminated from their jobs this spring. They were each stripped of their badges, asked to sign resignation letters and marched off of White House property without explanation. Both are now unemployed.