Despite Donald Trump’s claims that there were spies installed in his Florida estate, it turns out that the insider who spilled on the former president’s order to move documents was a well-trusted valet who stayed in his employ after leaving the White House.
Walt Nauta started cooking in a White House dining facility run by the Navy during the Obama presidency, and under Trump, transferred to a position as a personal valet, running errands and delivering diet Cokes to the Oval Office when the then-president pressed a button.
Nauta seemed to develop a rapport with Trump — he was even one of the people consulted for ideas to hold onto the White House after Teflon Don was ousted in 2020. He joined the former president at Mar-a-Lago, where he continued to carry out valet duties, and left military service.
However, caught on tape moving boxes that the government had demanded be kept secure in a storage room until their return to NARA, Nauta seemed to decide it was time to spill all.
The Washington Post reports:
“When FBI agents first interviewed Nauta, he denied any role in moving boxes or sensitive documents, the people familiar with the situation said in interviews before Nauta’s name became public. But as investigators gathered more evidence, they questioned him a second time and he told a starkly different story — that Trump instructed him to move the boxes, these people said.”
Nauta’s name was on the way to headlines even before the FBI executed a search warrant on Mar-A-Lago. He makes an appearance in a new book by New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman, Rolling Stone reports, because of Trump’s deep trust in him — and willingness to seek advice from him on election issues.
“Haberman adds that Trump questioned virtually anyone who walked into his office about how he might be able to stay in power — including the valet who hand-delivered Diet Cokes, which [were] infamously summoned via a button in the Oval Office.”
Nauta was reportedly on the payroll of Trump’s Save America PAC, where he was being paid around $135k per year for his services.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.