Speed Reads

toiletgate

Photos of Trump's alleged document-flushing habit shared with Axios

Earlier this year, Axios reported a shocking scoop from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman's forthcoming book: Former President Donald Trump would allegedly, on occassion, clog a toilet with wads of paper he was seemingly attempting to flush and destroy, according to White House residence staff.

At the time, Trump denied the reports. But now ... well, now there are photos.

In both pictures, which Haberman apparently recently obtained, then shared with Axios ahead of the release of her book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, balls of paper featuring Trump's signature scrawl and preferred Sharpie ink can be seen sitting at the bottom of the toilets.

Per a White House source, the photo on the left is of a White House toilet, while the photo on the right is from an overseas trip. "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," Haberman told Axios. "It was an extension of Trump's term-long habit of ripping up documents that were supposed to be preserved under the Presidential Records Act."

Though it's difficult to read the text that's written, one can — at least in the right photo — make out the name of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), a Trump ally and member of House Republican leadership, Axios notes.

Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich dismissed the story: "You have to be pretty desperate to sell books if pictures of paper in a toilet bowl is part of your promotional plan," he told Axios.