Trump Adamantly Denies Report He Clogged White House Toilet by Flushing 'Wads' of Paper

Reporter Maggie Haberman — a frequent Trump target — writes in a new book that the White House toilets he used would periodically be clogged with wet, printed paper: "Categorically untrue," he said

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Photo: Steven Ferdman/WireImage

Donald Trump this week flatly denied that, while in office, the toilet in his White House residence would occasionally be clogged with wads of paper and require repairs by an engineer — another hint, suggests a forthcoming book by reporter Maggie Haberman, about how the former president preferred to discard documents while in office.

Haberman, who has both extensively interviewed Trump and been attacked by him, is publishing a forthcoming biography of the former president. Confidence Man was previewed by Axios on Thursday and includes a passage about the clogged toilets in the White House.

Speaking to CNN Thursday morning, Haberman detailed the anecdote from her book, telling New Day's Brianna Keilar: "As I was reporting out this book, I learned that staff in the White House residence would periodically find the toilet clogged, the engineer would have to come and fix it and what the engineer would find would be wads of, you know, clumped up, wet, printed paper, meaning it was not toilet paper, this was either notes or some other piece of paper that they believed he had thrown down the toilet."

She continued: "What it could be, Brianna, could be anybody's guess. It could be Post-its, it could be notes he wrote to himself, it could be other things. But certainly does add, as you said another dimension to what we know about how he handled material in the White House."

Haberman said on CNN that, according to her reporting, the clogged toilets were "not an isolated incident" and that they stemmed from Trump's White House bathroom.

The 75-year-old former president — whom Axios reports was interviewed by Haberman for her book — dismissed her account in a statement released Thursday.

"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 said.

Haberman's book adds to both recent and past stories about Trump's propensity for getting rid of files — a habit that has raised concerns with how it follows the law about presidential record-keeping.

Last week, the National Archives and Records Administration confirmed that some of the files it had received from Trump's time in office "included paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump."

Some of those ripped-up and reconstructed documents were reportedly among the more than 700 pages turned over to lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, The Washington Post reported. (The Jan. 6 committee did not respond to PEOPLE's request for a comment; neither did a Trump spokeswoman.)

Politico reported back in 2018 that Trump liked to tear documents up once finished with them, which was a problem for the government employees tasked with reconstructing the files, in keeping with the law.

"I had a letter from [Sen. Chuck] Schumer — he tore it up," one official told Politico at the time. "It was the craziest thing ever. He ripped papers into tiny pieces."

In his statement Thursday, Trump insisted everything was fine.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. James Devaney/GC Images

"The media's characterization of my relationship with NARA is Fake News. It was exactly the opposite! It was a great honor to work with NARA to help formally preserve the Trump Legacy," he said.

In an interview on MSNBC earlier this week, former Apprentice star and Trump aide-turned-Trump enemy Omarosa Manigault Newman, said Trump "loved to tear up those documents."

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"His habit of tearing these things up ... my heart truly goes out to the people responsible for going in the trash bins [and] recovering these things. But there are certainly things that I'm sure cannot be accounted for because Donald Trump became very very aware that a lot of these sensitive documents would at some point be made public," Newman said on MSNBC.

She also claimed that she once saw Trump "chewing" a document he had just torn up after meeting with his former attorney Michael Cohen in the Oval Office.

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