The story behind Trump’s claim that Bush Sr. hid documents in a bowling alley

donald trump former president accused George H. W. Bush hiding classified documents in a “bowling alley” during a rally in Arizona on Sunday.

Mr. Trump claimed that many former presidents had stored millions of pages of documents in warehouses “with damaged main doors”.

The former president said Bush senior “took millions upon millions of documents to a reconstructed former bowling alley with what was then an old, crumbling Chinese restaurant.”

“They put them together. And there was a broken front door and broken windows. Other than that, it was pretty safe,” Mr Trump added.

In fact, he even demanded to know why the former president was not being prosecuted for “concealing” documents.

Mr. Trump himself is currently under investigation for bringing government documents to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The US Department of Justice found 48 documents marked classified in his estate after the FBI conducted a search in August. The department has suggested that Mr. Trump may have numerous other classified documents.

Mr. Trump’s reference to a bowling alley where he said Bush hid classified documents was a likely reference to 1994 reports at the site of a future George Bush presidential library and museum at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The presidential library and museum was envisioned in a former bowling alley and part of it was part of the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant.

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The archives of the Bush Library and Museum contain more than 40 million pages of official records and personal papers documenting the life of the 41st President of the United States.

The Presidential Library and Museum’s website mentions that “George Bush’s presidential documents (1989-1993) constitute the core of the archival holdings. The library also contains the Vice Presidential Archives of George Bush (1981-1989) and Dan Quayle (1989-1993) as well as donated historical records that document George Bush’s private and public career.

In addition to these documents, the Bush Library has an extensive audiovisual collection containing more than two million photographs and 10,000 videotapes.

Mr. Trump’s accusation that Bush hid the documents is rooted in the history of the establishment of the Bush Library and Museum.

It was in a former bowling alley that the things of the life of the former president were gathered. In 1994, when the future museum and library came together, a news agency reported that things like “an old infielder’s glove, the door to a Kuwaiti palace, even a huge likeness of the head of Bush at a Republican convention” had been brought to the bowling alley. alley.

Currently, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum contains more than 100,000 artifacts in its three-dimensional holdings, housed and preserved for posterity, research and display, the website notes.

The bowling alley was apparently not enough for the millions of pages of documents, so some of the documents were kept next to the bowling alley in what was once the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant.

All the elements of the future library and museum at the time not only came from the years of Bush’s presidency, but other elements also came from his eight years as vice president. Many also came from his tenure as a Texas congressman.

The documents and memorabilia were all guarded by the security of the future Bush Library. Back then Associated Press reported that some of the “printed material is classified” and will remain so for years to come and that it “is only open to those with top-secret clearances”.

When the National Archives was just establishing the library and museum, the director of the Center of Presidential Studies at Texas A&M University, George Edwards, said, “We don’t just take a presidential library and say, ‘N ‘isn’t it pretty and prestigious’. We want to integrate the library into the intellectual life of the campus.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s comment on Bush and bowling drew a strong reaction on Twitter from Bush’s son, Jeb Bush. “I’m so confused,” he said, “My dad enjoyed a good Chinese meal and enjoyed the 7 10 split challenge. What’s up with you? »

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