Revealed: Trump used the White House phone for a Jan. 6 call that wasn’t on the official log | donald trump

Donald Trump used an official White House phone to make at least one call during the attack on the Capitol on January 6 last year that should have been reflected in the internal presidential call log for that day , but was not, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The former president called the phone of a Republican senator, Mike Lee, with a number recorded as 202-395-0000, a placeholder number that appears when a call comes from any number of department phones of the White House, the sources said.

The number matches an official White House phone and the call was made by Donald Trump himself, meaning the call should have been logged in the internal presidential call log that was turned over to the select committee of the House charged with investigating the attack on the Capitol.

Trump’s call to Lee was reported at the time, along with its omission from the call log, by The Washington Post and CBS. But the origin of the call as coming from an official White House phone, which has not been previously reported, raises the possibility of tampering or deletion by Trump White House officials. .

It also appears to mark perhaps the most serious violation of the Presidential Records Act — the law that mandates the retention of White House records relating to a president’s official duties — by the Trump White House regarding archives from January 6 to date.

A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump called Lee at 2:26 p.m. on January 6 via the official White House number 202-395-0000, according to detailed call records reviewed by the Guardian and confirmation from the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. to discuss sensitive issues.

The call was notable because Trump mistakenly dialed Lee thinking it was Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville’s number. Lee passed the phone to Tuberville, who told Trump that Mike Pence had just been kicked out of the Senate chamber as rioters stormed the Capitol.

But Trump’s call to Lee was not recorded in either the Presidential Daily Log or the Presidential Call Log — a problem because even though entries in the Daily Log are discretionary, according to several current and former House officials Blanche, the call log is not.

The Presidential Daily Diary is a retrospective account of the president’s day produced by aides in the Oval Office, who have some influence in determining whether a particular event was significant enough to warrant its inclusion, officials said.

But the presidential call log, typically generated from data recorded when calls are made by White House operators, is meant to be a complete record of all incoming and outgoing calls involving the president through White House channels. , officials said.

The fact that Trump’s call to Lee was routed through an official White House phone with a 202-395 prefix — either through a landline in the West Wing, the White House residence, or a cell phone” work” – means that the details of this call should have been on the call log.

The only time a call might not be reflected in the unclassified presidential call log, officials said, would be if the call was classified, which seems unlikely in the case of the call to Lee. Trump’s failure to call Lee suggests a serious breach of protocol and possible manipulation, officials said.

It was not immediately clear how any Trump White House official could obscure or falsify the presidential call log, or who might have the authority to make such manipulations.

Trump’s calls on Jan. 6 might not have been recorded in the presidential call log had he used his home phone or the cellphones of his aides, officials said, and Trump occasionally called people with the cellphone of his White House deputy chief of staff, Dan. Scavino.

But several current and former White House officials noted that a copy of the call log — alongside the president’s daily schedule and line-by-line presidential document — could be provided to Oval Office operations to help compile the presidential daily newspaper.

This could lead to a situation where records are vulnerable to tampering, since the Presidential Daily Log and Call Log must be approved by a senior White House official before they can be sent to the House Records Management Office. Blanche, officials said.

And by the time Jan. 6, two former Trump White House officials said there was potential for political interference in the preservation of the records, with no White House staff secretary officially named after the departure of Derek Lyons on December 18.

The White House communications agency has also not been immune to political influence, the select committee revealed last year, when it found evidence that the agency had produced a letter intended to be used to pressure states to decertify Joe Biden’s election victory.

Trump’s call to Lee wasn’t the only call missing from an unexplained seven-hour gap in the presidential call log that day. Trump, for example, also bonded with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during the attack on the Capitol.

The Presidential Daily Log and the Presidential Calls Log were turned over to the select committee by the National Archives after the Supreme Court denied a final request by Trump to block disclosure of White House documents to the panel.

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