04 Mar, 2024
1 min read

National Archives warned Trump attorneys in 2021 about missing White House documents, including correspondence with Kim Jong-Un

Washington – An official working for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) warned Donald Trump’s legal team in May 2021 that the Archives was missing numerous records from the Trump White House that urgently needed to be returned, according to a letter released by the Archives on Monday following a Freedom of Information Act request.

On May 6, 2021, NARA general counsel Gary Stern wrote to a group of Trump attorneys, including Patrick Philbin and Michael Purpura, informing them that “roughly two dozen boxes of original Presidential records” from Trump’s time in office that were once kept in the White House residence had yet to be returned to the Archives.

Other missing records included an “original correspondence” between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and a letter then-president Barack Obama left for Trump during the 2017 presidential transition – a White House tradition – according to the letter.

Trump told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman in an interview for her upcoming book “Confidence Man” that he has “great things” from his time at the White House, including the Kim letters, according to audio posted on CNN. When Haberman asked specifically about the Kim letters, Trump said “no, I think that has the … I think that’s in the archives, but most of it is in the Archives. But the Kim Jong Un letters, we have incredible things. I have incredible letters with other leaders.”

US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet at the Korean Demilitarized Zone
US President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019.


“We know things were very chaotic, as they always are in the course of a one-term transition,” Stern wrote, “But it is absolutely necessary that we obtain and account for

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