Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump habit of ripping up documents a headache for record-keepers

Trump habit of ripping up documents a headache for record-keepers

Donald Trump early in his presidency routinely ripped up documents he was legally required to preserve, forcing former records management analysts Solomon Lartey and Reginald Young Jr.to patch the papers back together with Scotch tape, according to Politico.

Paper wars: He rips, they stick them. That mandate requires all presidential records-emails, memos, and other correspondence handled by Trump-to be preserved, which apparently doesn't sync up with what some describe as his "unofficial 'filing system'".

Once Trump aides have gathered all the confetti he threw around the room, they reportedly send it over to a team of records management analysts to reassemble the shredded documents, and thus, shield the president from breaking the law.

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".

"We literally had to spend hours per day piecing together the puzzle prior to taping them", Young told host Alisyn Camerota after going through the process in which he carefully spread out ripped pieces of paper on a desk and reconstructed them. Instead, they chose to clean it up for him, in order to make sure that the president wasn't violating the law.

"I had a letter from Schumer - he tore it up", he told Politico.

"I was stunned", he said.

According to them, no one can convince trump to abandon this habit.


Mr Lartey, 54, said he was sacked at the end of the work day on March 23, with no warning. "I would never have thought I would have gotten fired".

Lartey, 54, and Young, 48, were both career officials who worked together in records management until this spring, when both were terminated from their jobs suddenly and without warning.

'We're making more than $60,000 (£45,000) a year, we need to be doing far more important things than this.

"The only excuse that I've ever gotten from them", Young said, "was that you serve at the pleasure of the president".

"We got Scotch tape, the clear kind", Lartey recalled in an interview.

A White House spokesman and a human resources director did not comment on the terminations.

'It felt like the lowest form of work you can take on without having to empty the trash cans'.

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