The Saga of Trump's White House Records: 'Top Secret' Files Stashed at Mar-a-Lago, Gaps in Jan. 6 Call Logs

Donald Trump said in a statement that everything was fine: "The papers were given easily and without conflict ... which is different from the accounts being drawn up by the Fake News Media"

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Donald Trump. Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Another day, another detail about the ongoing saga of how Donald Trump maintained his White House records.

According to The Washington Post, some of the the records the National Archives retrieved from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida were clearly labeled classified and included some documents designated "top secret" — even as Trump insists everything was handled appropriately.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) confirmed this week that in January, 15 boxes that contained presidential records were removed from the Florida property where the former president resides.

Sources told the Post some of those documents contained information that is extremely sensitive and that only a small group of U.S. officials would have the authority to view those records.

It was previously reported that the boxes contained a letter from former President Barack Obama as well as other correspondence with world leaders, including what Trump had called "love letters" from North Korea's Kim Jong Un, reams of printed news clips and a map that Trump infamously marked-up with a black Sharpie to show how Hurricane Dorian could hit Alabama in 2019.

After the archives requested an investigation into the Trump administration's handling of White House documents, the Justice Department is now weighing how to proceed, if at all, while records are held in a sensitive compartmented information facility, according to the Post. (A spokeswoman with the DOJ declined to comment to PEOPLE.)

The Post's reporting that some of the records were classified comes amid increasing scrutiny about Trump's White House papers and how he and his administration handled official documents that are protected by the Presidential Records Act.

"These records should have been transferred to NARA from the White House at the end of the Trump Administration in January 2021," the agency said in a statement this week, referring to the 15 boxes of documents.

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Donald Trump. Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Trump denied any wrongdoing in a statement released Thursday.

"It was a great honor to work with NARA to help formally preserve the Trump Legacy," he said. "The papers were given easily and without conflict and on a very friendly basis, which is different from the accounts being drawn up by the Fake News Media. In fact, it was viewed as routine and 'no big deal.' In actuality, I have been told I was under no obligation to give this material based on various legal rulings that have been made over the years."

Trump said that "following collaborative and respectful discussions," the NARA "openly and willingly arranged with President Trump for the transport of boxes that contained letters, records, newspapers, magazines, and various articles."

In the same statement, Trump denied a portion of New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman's upcoming book that suggests he repeatedly clogged White House toilets by flushing printed papers.

The report, Trump said, was "categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book."

The former president's longstanding habit of ripping up papers has also been making fresh headlines. Last week, the NARA confirmed that some of the files it received from the administration "included paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump."

Some of those taped-up documents were reportedly among the more than 700 pages turned over to lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Separately, a House of Representative committee's effort to uncover and evaluate the facts surrounding the deadly attack has been hindered by gaps in Trump White House call logs from Jan. 6, The New York Times reported.

Those congressional investigators have found few records of calls that Trump made that day, though they know from other witnesses that he was on the phone talking to aides and allies.

The investigators reportedly have not found evidence of tampering or deleting call logs. The report noted that Trump also had a habit if using a personal phone to make calls.

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MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The committee has reportedly requested telecommunication companies preserve phone records from some Trump contacts as they piece together the events leading up to and during the Jan. 6 attack.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Demcrat who chairs the House Oversight Committee, said Monday she plans to "fully investigate" possible violations of the Presidential Records Act and other rules on handling White House records.

"I sounded the alarm in December 2020 about the danger that the former President and senior Trump Administration officials were not properly transferring presidential records to the National Archives and unfortunately, we now know that was the case," she said in a statement. "I plan to fully investigate this incident to ensure the law is followed and records from the Trump Administration are with the National Archives where they belong, rather than stashed away in Trump's golf resorts."

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