WASHINGTON — White House aides realized early on that they could not stop President Donald Trump from tearing up papers he must preserve to stay in line with the Presidential Records Act, Politico reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the practice.
So to avoid clashing with the law, some staffers have taped his pieces back together “like a jigsaw puzzle,” Solomon Lartey, a former records management analyst, told Politico.
Lartey said he got clear tape and reassembled clips Trump had torn up, including a letter from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“I had a letter from Schumer – he tore it up,” Lartey said. “It was the craziest thing ever. He ripped papers into tiny pieces.”
The White House did not immediately return CNN’s request for comment.
The Presidential Records Act requires presidential records be preserved and transferred to the National Archives, which says the law “places the responsibility for the custody and management of incumbent presidential records with the President.”
Presidential records can take several forms, including electronic media, like tweets. Trump’s penchant for deleting his tweets and re-posting them slightly altered or without typos has raised questions about compliance with the law in the past, and the White House said previously that they have systems to preserve all tweets as presidential records, even deleted tweets.