Trump Aides Secretly Packed For White House Departure, Had Concerns Over Retention Of Documents: Report


White House staffers of former President Donald Trump, reportedly spent the final days of his term secretly packing for the administration’s departure to avoid being stopped by him, according to the New York Times.

The officials, however, did not recall seeing classified material going into boxes, the report said.

Trump did not appreciate the sensitivity of intelligence as some of the former presidents, the report said, citing intelligence personnel. Former President George W. Bush very rarely kept documents from intelligence briefings, the Times said, citing Michael Morell, a former CIA director, who handled his daily intelligence briefing.

Trump regularly asked to retain things after briefings, particularly images or graphics, some Trump administration officials reportedly said. He was interested in intelligence briefings about foreign counterparts before and after calls with them.

His request to hold onto documents sometimes created anxiety, they added.

See also: Biden Restarts Tradition Abandoned During Trump’s Tenure: Why Obamas Are Arriving At White House On Wednesday

The former president was favorably disposed to autocrats such as Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping, but had a personal dislike toward European leaders such as former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron as well as Canada’s Justin Trudeau, his former aides reportedly said. Trump was also interested in information about how his meetings with world leaders had been received.

He did not have an ideologically-held view but focused on what he could use as leverage at that moment, Sue Gordon, another former intelligence official, reportedly told NYT.

Trump did not believe in burn bags, the customary practice used by federal agencies to destroy classified documents, and personally, when he wanted certain things to be destroyed he used to tear them up and toss them into a toilet, the report said.

When he wanted to keep some material, he used to put it in a cardboard box near his desk, and this box would be replaced with another when it was full, NYT added.

Photo: Courtesy of Lara Eakins and Gage Skidmore on flickr


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