- NYT reported Maggie Haberman obtained photos seeming to show destroyed documents in toilets.
- Sources told her White House staff believed Trump tried to flush them — which he has denied.
- US law forbids officials — including the president — from destroying a vast array of records.
Photos purport to show notes that former President Donald Trump tried to flush down a toilet, a potential breach of laws meant to protect federal records.
Trump has denied ever destroying documents in this way, despite reporting from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman saying that he did.
Haberman shared photos with Insider that shows paper in the bowl of two toilets that had handwriting resembling Trump’s.
Haberman had reported the practice before, but without photos.
The images were also published Monday by the news outlet Axios. Haberman told Axios that one photo showed a toilet in the White House:
She said and another shows a toilet used on an overseas presidential trip:
She cited an unnamed White House source for the information.
Axios reported that the photos were from an upcoming book by Haberman, one of the most respected reporters on Trump. The book is called “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.”
Per Axios, White House staffers “periodically” found paper clogging White House toilets, which they believed was Trump’s doing.
The Presidential Records Act forbids officials, including the president, from destroying any records which relate to carrying out presidential duties.
Haberman told Axios: “That Mr. Trump was discarding documents this way was not widely known within the West Wing, but some aides were aware of the habit, which he engaged in repeatedly.”
Trump denied doing so when it was suggested in a February report. He told the outlet: “Also, another fake story, that I flushed papers and documents down a White House toilet, is categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.”
Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich also denied Trump doing it in a statement to Axios on Monday. He suggested that somebody may have staged the photos.
“You have to be pretty desperate to sell books if pictures of paper in a toilet bowl is part of your promotional plan,” he said.
“We know … 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.”
Read the original article on Business Insider