Trump poking his head out from a toilet

KILO LUX/Shutterstock Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock (Licensed) remix by Jason Reed

Trump’s old complaint that he needed to flush ’10-15 times’ resurfaces after report says he dumped documents down the toilet

Previous Republican presidents may have indirectly caused Trump's flushing woes.


Claire Goforth


Posted on Feb 10, 2022   Updated on Feb 16, 2022, 12:50 pm CST

Claims that former President Donald Trump clogged White House toilets with documents have resurfaced stories about his flushing woes while in office.

Maggie Haberman of the New York Times writes in her upcoming book that Trump repeatedly clogged White House toilets by flushing documents, Axios first reported. On Thursday morning, Trump released a statement denying the document flushing tale as “categorically untrue and simply made up” to drum up publicity for Haberman’s book.

The toilet tale comes on the heels of reports that Trump kept other documents from his presidency, including potentially classified materials. The Justice Department and a House committee are looking into whether he violated the Presidential Records Act by taking those records to Mar-a-Lago, where they were retrieved last month.

Questions over his potentially wrongful retention of presidential records—which Trump naturally casts quite differently—arguably lends some credibility to allegations that Trump flushed documents in the White House. Haberman says that staff found wads of paper clogging toilets in the presidential residence on multiple occasions.

The document flushing allegation has also resurfaced complaints Trump made during his presidency about how difficult it was to get things to go down the drain. In 2019, Trump complained that Americans have to flush “10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once.”

During a roundtable discussion with small business leaders about deregulatory actions, Trump said, “We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where you turn the faucet on—and in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it, and you don’t get any water.”

Trump said that he’d directed the Environmental Protection Agency to look into the matter.

The comments appeared to be directed at low-flow toilets, sinks, and showers. He repeated the story plenty of times on the campaign trail as well.

Several people unearthed Trump’s previous potty problems after the flushing story broke.

“It makes sense now,” Drew Harwell of the Washington Post tweeted with screenshots of both headlines. Others made similar comparisons.

As it turns out, Trump’s toilet woes may have been indirectly caused by the Bush administrations.

In 1992, then-President George H.W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act, which restricted new toilets from using more than 1.6 gallons per flush, ushering in the era of those low-flow toilets Trump so loathes.

And CBS News reports that his son, former President George W. Bush, had low-flush toilets installed during his term.

Haberman’s book, Confidence Man: The making of Donald Trump and the breaking of America, will be released on Oct. 4.

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*First Published: Feb 10, 2022, 11:18 am CST