U.S. President Donald Trump has not exactly been known for being “normal.” He’s attempted to make that a selling point of his rise, but many have had to live with real world consequences of his dedication to charting out a unique course for himself and his administration no matter what the cost.
Two such specific individuals highlighted by a new report from POLITICO are Solomon Lartey and Reginald Young Jr., both of whom until relatively recently worked in the records management division of the Trump administration. Neither of the men were political appointments, but even still, they were subjected to strikingly out of the ordinary requirements thanks to the changing political winds in D.C. Both of the well paid, career staffers were, along with others in government, tasked with taping documents back together that Donald Trump had ripped up.
The reason for their job duties changing to include that task once Trump took office is the president’s incessant habit of ripping papers up when he’s done with them. That might not have mattered when he was in the private sector, but now, he’s subject to the Presidential Records Act, which means that any and all even remotely non-personal documents that he handles have to be preserved.
That “preservation” has, according to POLITICO, taken the form of guys like Lartey and Young taping pieces of paper back together again.
Neither of the men set out to share potentially embarrassing information about the inner workings of the Trump administration, POLITICO notes. They first ended up in contact with reporter Annie Karni after she got in touch with Young while researching for an article about unfair firing practices in the Trump administration, seeing as at present the men feel as though they have no answers for why they were abruptly terminated.
That’s not to say that they were particularly at home with taping things back together that the president ripped up, however.
‘We had to endure this under the Trump administration. I’m looking at my director, and saying, ‘Are you guys serious?’ We’re making more than $60,000 a year, we need to be doing far more important things than this. It felt like the lowest form of work you can take on without having to empty the trash cans.’
Lartey commented similarly, saying:
‘I had a letter from Schumer — he tore it up. It was the craziest thing ever. He ripped papers into tiny pieces.’
Throughout all of the time that has so far transpired with Trump in power, scraps of paper being collected by presidential staffers and sent to records management to be taped back together is not known to have stopped. The practice was still ongoing when Young and Lartey left government work earlier this year, despite the efforts of staffers close to Trump to get him to stop ripping things up.
The story of Trump incessantly tearing papers up is a not particularly reassuring piece of information in the middle of a sea of other indicators of the president’s instability. The perhaps most well known such indicator is his Twitter feed; just recently, he took to the platform to shame the Canadian prime minister as “weak.”
Considering past patterns of behavior from Trump, it’s not likely that he will stop tweeting such material — or ripping up papers — anytime soon.
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