Trump described boxes of classified documents as ‘mine’ and swatted away White House officials who tried to return documents from Kim Jong-un and Barack Obama: report
- The government reclaimed 300-plus classified documents from Trump, per The New York Times.
- The National Archives spent much of 2021 trying to retrieve government property, per the outlet.
- But Trump reportedly described the items as “mine,” and resisted efforts to return the material.
Former President Donald Trump resisted returning official materials from his presidency, including communications with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and former President Barrack Obama, even as the National Archives spent much of 2021 trying to retrieve the government property, according to The New York Times.
Upon learning that two dozen boxes of Trump administration presidential records material had been moved from the Oval Office to the White House residence, where they had been residing for several months, officials with the National Archives spent a good deal of 2021 trying to recover them, the outlet reported.
The Presidential Records Act maintains that all official material remains government property and must be handed over to the National Archives upon a president’s departure.
Two former White House officials who were tasked with representing the former president to the National Archives were contacted by the agency and tried to secure the documents’ return, according to the newspaper.
But Trump rejected their efforts, calling the boxes of documents “mine,” three advisers told the outlet.
Among the most prominent items the National Archives was seeking to reclaim were Trump’s original letters with Kim Jong-un, and the note that Obama left Trump ahead of the latter’s inauguration, according to The Times.
Trump’s apparent evasion of the archives agency shines a new light on his current legal troubles following an FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this month, where federal agents seized 26 boxes of documents, including 11 sets marked as classified — one of which had the highest security level of top secret.
The Times this week reported that the government thus far has retrieved more than 300 classified documents from Trump since he left office in January 2021. The former president returned a first set in January of this year; his Justice Department aides provided a second batch in June; and the FBI claimed additional material in the August raid.
It’s not immediately clear how these documents are traditionally stored in the White House or how they would be stored in the National Archives, but several people familiar with the investigation told The Times that the FBI found documents in a container that was in a closet in Trump’s office.
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, nor did a representative with the Justice Department.