The National Archives and Records Administration recovered multiple boxes of records from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence last month that the former president had improperly removed from the White House, according to the Washington Post. The documents included, among other items, the “love letters” Trump exchanged with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — which Trump understandably wanted to keep for himself until the National Archives stepped in to stop the steal. Per the Post:
The recovery of the boxes from Trump’s Florida resort raises new concerns about his adherence to the Presidential Records Act, which requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.
Trump advisers deny any nefarious intent and said the boxes contained mementos, gifts, letters from world leaders and other correspondence. The items included correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which Trump once described as “love letters,” as well as a letter left for his successor by President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the contents.
Trump has a well-known affinity for saving stuff that affirms his importance, including framing magazines both real and fake that have featured him on the cover. He is also someone with a peculiar love-hate relationship with paper: He both compulsively includes paper as a prop in almost every photo of him posing as hard at work, yet he also has reportedly been long addicted to ripping it up. That has made the National Archives’ already uphill battle to obtain and preserve evidence of Trump’s ephemeral work in office even more difficult.
It’s not clear what other specific items he had to give up from Mar-a-Lago nor has it ever been fully clear what Trump and other members of his administration received as gifts during his presidency. The National Archives probably doesn’t care about the mug with the presidential seal he keeps in his Florida office, but what about his U.S. Border Patrol plaque commemorating the border wall he partially built? Is the Sharpie hurricane map being preserved for future generations? And perhaps the most important question of all: How will Trump be able to run for president again if he doesn’t have any physical proof that world leaders respected him enough to write him the first time?