We now have even more details about how little Donald Trump cares about classified documents. His former executive assistant allegedly told federal investigators that Trump used classified documents as scrap paper.
Molly Michael, who worked as Trump’s assistant from 2018 until 2022, told special counsel Jack Smith’s team that Trump would write to-do lists for her on the backs of documents that had visible classification markings, ABC reported Monday, citing anonymous sources. The classified documents were originally used to brief Trump about phone calls with foreign leaders and other international matters.
The documents that Trump used as scrap paper were at Mar-a-Lago when the FBI raided the resort in August 2022, but agents did not find them. Instead, Michael found them the following day when she went to her office to clean up. She gave the documents to the FBI that day, ABC wrote.
Michael resigned due to how Trump handled the pre-raid requests to return the classified documents kept at Mar-a-Lago. The sources also told ABC that when Trump heard the FBI wanted to interview Michael, he told her, “You don’t know anything about the boxes.”
These new allegations about how Trump treated classified documents should come as no surprise. Trump was indicted in Florida for hoarding classified materials at Mar-a-Lago, and charged with keeping national defense secrets, making false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice, among other things.
The indictment reveals that Trump hid boxes of classified documents everywhere throughout Mar-a-Lago, including in the ballroom, a bathroom and shower, and his bedroom.
While he was in office, Trump reportedly tried to dispose of classified documents in the toilet. In her 2022 book Confidence Man, reporter Maggie Haberman wrote that Trump would tear documents up and flush them down the toilet, in violation of presidential records law. Trump has denied doing so.
Former Trump ally and White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman alleged in her 2018 memoir that Trump got rid of a sensitive document by eating it. (Trump denied this, and the validity of Manigault Newman’s book has been called into question, given her track record of bending the truth while at the White House.)