“He took everyone’s calls,” the aide said, even interrupting national security briefings to make and receive calls.
The phone was his lifeline, according to former Trump administration officials.
The committee’s difficulty in tracking who Trump spoke to — and when — is dealing with his unorthodox phone habits during his tenure: According to multiple sources formerly in the administration, the ex-president often used other people’s phones people (or multiple personal phones, sometimes up and down) to communicate with his followers – and even his family.
A former staffer attributed the former president’s habit to a dislike of anyone listening to his calls (which, at the White House, is hard for a president to avoid if he’s calling from a desk phone). Thus, he frequently grabbed the cell phone of a nearby assistant or even a Secret Service agent to make calls.
Scavino, according to this source, had an official phone and a personal phone.
He was subpoenaed by the committee on Jan. 6 and is suing Verizon over the committee’s subpoena of his phone records. The lawsuit – still in its early stages – temporarily barred the phone company from providing its call logs and subscriber information to the House.
“He liked to talk to people he was okay with,” said another aide.
Moreover, Trump would not usually take his own personal cell phone into the Oval Office, according to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who repeatedly tried to reach him as the riot raged.
Trump never called Christie back that day, the former governor told Bash.
To assess how unprecedented Trump’s presidential behavior on the phone was – and how he ran the White House in general – a former senior White House official describes an early chaotic process with “almost no trace of anything.” that is”.
“In fact,” says this former official, “no one has ever thought of keeping track of people entering and leaving the Ring.”
According to another former White House official, “for large chunks, at least, and most likely the entire Trump presidency, there are no Oval Office visitor records.” Keeping such records is not mandatory, but had become the norm under previous administrations.
When General John Kelly became Trump’s chief of staff in July 2017, he tried to clean up the messy phone process inside the White House – and his boss hated it, according to a former White House official . Kelly tried to keep call logs and screen Trump’s calls, but the president bristled at the restrictions because he didn’t want Kelly to know who he was talking to, the former official said.
“It just didn’t happen,” the source said. There was no getting around it.” And most calls were by appointment.
Also, the source said, then-President Barack Obama would never have been allowed to use a Secret Service aide or agent’s phone to make calls. “God, no,” the source said.