Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday said that he saw former President Trump rip up documents but never saw the intentional destruction of important papers.
The remarks from Mulvaney, who has been critical of Trump, come days after the FBI conducted a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate that is linked to a probe on classified documents.
“I never saw the intentional destruction of documents for the purpose of keeping anything for the National Archives, or the public in the future,” Mulvaney told CNN’s “New Day” host Brianna Keilar
Mulvaney said that everyone in the administration knew the importance of preserving documents and that everyone including himself sometimes ripped up documents.
“And we knew the rules and yes, we taped them back together and yes, we made copies and keep in mind that’s important,” Mulvaney told Keilar.
“As long as copies are preserved, you can pretty much do whatever you want to with the other documents,” he added. “But we all knew the rules and I never saw the intentional destruction of documents whatsoever.”
Mulvaney reiterated that he saw documents being “handled in the ordinary course of business,” stating that every prior administration has fixed defaced documents.
“You never heard about him ripping and flushing documents,” Keilar asked Mulvaney.
“I saw him rip documents. I mean we did,” Mulvaney replied back.
“The flushing, you never heard about him flushing documents,” Keilar asked Mulvaney.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman earlier this week released a pair of photos from her forthcoming book to back up her reporting that White House staffers regularly found ripped-up printing paper in the toilet of the presidential residence during Trump’s term in office.
“Not a single time,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney’s remarks come after the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Florida based residence on Monday. The raid was reportedly as part of an investigation into whether Trump brought classified documents with him when he left the White House.