[NCH] NARA rebuts Trump claim about transfer of Obama records to Chicago

Dear NCH Member,

You may have seen Trump's claim that former-president Obama took 33 million records to Chicago with him after he left the White House. This claim is patently FALSE.

NARA took possession of the records on January 20, 2017. All normal procedures were followed. The materials were moved to Chicago in anticipation of former-president Obama building his presidential library there. Subsequently, the Obama Foundation decided not to build a physical library. The records remain in Chicago in a secure NARA facility pending a final decision as to where the physical records will reside. It is important to note that at the time the Obama Foundation said that 95% of the records generated by his administration were born digital. They agreed to pay the cost to digitize the remaining records. 

To summarize, the Obama Center in Chicago will only contain a presidential museum being paid for by the Foundation. There will be no separate physical library and NARA has, and has had, full control and custody over the records since former-president Obama left office.

It is also critical to note, NO classified records from the Obama administration were ever transferred to Chicago. They remain in Washington under NARA's control.

Here is an article from the Washington Post that explains the issue. I'm also including the NARA press release.



Please let me know if you have any questions.



Lee White
Executive Director
National Coalition for History
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