Former Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham was on CNN this morning to comment on how Trump handled documents. She also noted he was a paranoid man. (Considering all the criming he did, it was no wonder.)
"You know, I wasn't surprised when I saw the report. I think what's important is, this is another example of a White House and an administration that we had no rules. We followed no rules. Obviously, with this, i do think it should be looked into. But there's going to be a lot that goes into it. They may have been marked top secret but had the president declassify them, who packed them, what was the intent there. Was everything really returned? I think the point is, I know people are talking about, you know, should he get in trouble legally for this? I do think it should be looked into because it's very, very serious. I think this is also another example of what we do not want ever back in our government at the highest level of the White House again," she said.
"What did you personally see him do in terms of documents and was it clear why? Was it a nervous tic or because he wanted them out of circulation?"
"To be honest with you, i always thought it was a nervous tic. It was -- he always tore everything up. I do recall one flight we were headed to the Middle East on one of our surprise Christmas troop visits. And I was sitting behind him watching him because there was nothing else to watch. And he was going through his boxes. You know, he was keeping some things in a folder, signing some things, tearing some things up and throwing it on the floor, which was completely normal.
"He did that in the White House, he did that in his residence. He tore up some pieces of paper. I saw him put some of the torn-up pieces inside his jacket pocket. And I thought, huh, wonder why that's going in his pocket rather than on the floor? There weren't alarm bells for me at the time because I was so used to seeing it. But I distinctly remember wondering why they went in his pocket, maybe to be flushed in a toilet later."
She said Maggie Haberman's toilet story, while news to her, did not surprise her.
"You have to remember that the former president is a very, very paranoid man. So that didn't surprise me at all, which is pretty bonkers, honestly. But I know that Maggie Haberman is very well sourced. I remember in the White House when Maggie's story would come out, everybody was worried. So I trust that she probably had some very good sourcing," she said.
She said he didn't trust "anybody."
"He didn't trust the people around him. He didn't trust the people who were around him the most. There were just times when he would want to do things alone. Again, I saw him meet with Rudy Giuliani before in a room with literally nobody else in there. He was just a paranoid man. And for me, he was always that way. so it didn't set alarm bells off.
"Now that I have kind of stepped back and taken a break from this cult-like atmosphere, I am seeing how crazy and strange it all was."
Berman asked about the holes in the White House call records.
"He was on the phone all the time," she said.
"Whether we were in the Oval Office or we were in the dining room, in the middle of something he would yell out, get somebody on the phone, get somebody on the phone. Or he would take phone calls in the middle of meetings all the time. I do find the gaps are kind of odd. However, from all the reports that are out there, you know, there were people frantically calling asking for help and asking him to do something.
"I don't know this for a fact. but knowing him the way I do, i imagine people were coming in and saying so-and-so is on the phone, they want you to call it off. And he didn't want to. If he didn't want to hear a message somebody was saying, I'm sure he just didn't take the call."
She also said he used staffer's phones. "That could be something that was happening. Somebody in the room could have handed him a phone if somebody was calling in that regard. I do think it's very odd, and I hope they can look into it and piece things together perhaps by getting other people's cell phone records."
She said he would use the phones of anyone who was in the room.
"I will use Dan Scavino as an example because he was always, always in the room. But let's say Jared and Ivanka could be in the room. Let's say McCarthy would be calling perhaps then, Ivanka would hand the phone over and say, here you go. Or perhaps the president would say no. He did this all the time if he just didn't want to hear what somebody had to say. So maybe in those moments he just didn't want to hear these calls for help because he was enjoying that people were fighting for him."