Focus on facts: sorting papers and facts in a former bowling alley

Focus on facts: sorting papers and facts in a former bowling alley

At a rally of Nevada Republicans Saturday, former President Donald Trump argued in opposition to a federal investigation into the storage of labeled paperwork at his Mar-a-Lago dwelling by falsely suggesting that earlier presidents had finished the identical.

Trump alleged that Barack Obama moved “truckloads” of paperwork to a former furnishings retailer in Chicago, that Invoice Clinton moved information “from the White Home to a former automotive seller in Arkansas,” and that George HW Bush “moved thousands and thousands of paperwork to a former bowling alley and restaurant.” A former Chinese language who introduced them collectively.”

In truth, Nationwide Archives and Data Administration employees, not previous presidents, moved presidential information to those services for sorting and short-term storage, in line with safety protocols within the course of, NARA information and Related Press reviews present.

That is very totally different from Trump containing labeled paperwork from his presidency in varied storage areas in his Florida dwelling, mentioned Timothy Naftali, a professor of public service and historical past at New York College.

It’s clear that constructing a presidential library takes time. “Throughout that time period, the Nationwide Archives has to place these presidential information in a protected place,” Naftali mentioned. “They aren’t stored in lockers in public golf equipment.”

A Trump spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

This is a more in-depth take a look at the information.

TRUMP: Bush “took thousands and thousands of paperwork to a former bowling alley and a former Chinese language restaurant the place they mixed them. In order that they’re in a Chinese language restaurant in a bowling alley.”

The information: Though the thought of ​​Bush Sr. sneaking right into a bowling alley and Chinese language restaurant impressed colourful on-line reactions, it is not correct.

NARA Archive employees, not Bush, moved the paperwork to what was previously often called the Chimney Hill Bowl in School Station, Texas, the AP reported on the time. They transformed it right into a warehouse, and changed the bowling lanes with storage on the cabinets the place they might retailer doc containers. To suit all of it, in addition they selected a former Chinese language restaurant subsequent door.

Underneath the Presidential Data Act, NARA holds custody of all presidential information from earlier administrations. The company is chargeable for sorting paperwork and storing them securely till a presidential library might be constructed to deal with them.

Within the case of the Bush paperwork, the NARA Archives’ short-term storage facility was protected by guards, tv screens and digital detectors whereas the paperwork have been sorted, the Related Press reported on the time. They have been later moved to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, additionally in School Station, the place they reside immediately.

Naftali mentioned Trump’s feedback have been supposed to minimize the truth that he was retaining secret paperwork in Mar-a-Lago by saying that Bush stored his non-public paperwork in an outdated bowling alley.

“However that is full nonsense,” he mentioned. “These are the buildings that the Nationwide Archives took management of, renovated to fulfill archival and safety requirements, after which they put the supplies there.”

Benjamin Hoffbauer, a College of Louisville professor who researches presidential libraries, agreed that Trump’s declare was not true. “It is actually an apple to an orange type of,” he mentioned.


Trump: Clinton “transferred thousands and thousands of paperwork from the White Home to a former automotive seller in Arkansas.”

The information: Clinton didn’t take paperwork to a former auto dealership, as Nara did.

NARA introduced in Could 2000 that it could transfer paperwork from the Clinton presidency to a storage facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, which was the Balch Motor Firm. The ability, leased by NARA, was lower than two miles from what later grew to become the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, the place paperwork are saved immediately.


TRUMP: Obama “moved greater than 20 vans, and over 33 million pages of paperwork, each labeled and unclassified, to a poorly constructed and fully unsafe former furnishings retailer situated in a somewhat dangerous neighborhood of Chicago with no safety, by the way in which.”

The information: As soon as once more, NARA, not Obama, moved these paperwork — and adopted their very own storage requirements within the course of, the company mentioned.

Practically 30 million unclassified Obama administration paperwork are situated in a Chicago-area constructing that was as soon as owned by the Plunkett Furnishings Firm, in line with county and native authorities information.

These paperwork are saved in accordance with the company’s archival storage requirements, in line with NARA. These requirements embrace issues like hearth security, pest administration, and security pointers for sure forms of paperwork.

Feedback {that a} NARA official made to the town’s zoning fee earlier than the top of Obama’s time period additionally state that the ability shall be guarded in a single day.

The Division’s confidential paperwork are saved in separate safe areas within the Washington, DC space.


That is a part of the AP’s efforts to deal with broadly shared misinformation, together with working with exterior corporations and organizations so as to add factual context to deceptive content material circulating on-line. Study extra about information validation in AP.

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