In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump’s New York doctor without notice and took all the president’s medical records.
The incident, which Dr. Harold Bornstein described as a “raid,” took place two days after Bornstein told a newspaper that he had prescribed a hair growth medicine for the president for years.
In an exclusive interview in his Park Avenue office, Bornstein told NBC News that he felt “raped, frightened and sad” when Keith Schiller and another “large man” came to his office to collect the president’s records on the morning of Feb. 3, 2017. At the time, Schiller, who had long worked as Trump’s bodyguard, was serving as director of Oval Office operations at the White House.
“They must have been here for 25 or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos,” Bornstein said, who described the incident as frightening.
A framed 8×10 photo of Bornstein and Trump that had been hanging on the wall in the waiting room now lies flat under a stack of papers on the top shelf of Bornstein’s bookshelf. Bornstein said the men asked him to take it off the wall.
Bornstein said he was not given a form authorizing the release of the records and signed by the president —known as a HIPAA release — which is a violation of patient privacy law. A person familiar with the matter said there was a letter to Bornstein from then-White House doctor Ronny Jackson, but didn’t know if there was a release form attached.
Bornstein said the original and only copy of Trump’s charts, including lab reports under Trump’s name as well as under the pseudonyms his office used for Trump, were taken.
Another man, Trump Organization Chief Legal Officer Alan Garten, joined Schiller’s team at Bornstein’s office, and Bornstein’s wife Melissa photocopied his business card. Garten declined to comment on this story.
Schiller, who left the White House in September 2017, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is a pretty serious thing. This is theft. You have a right to medical records (or copies), but doctors have to keep them for six years under New York law.
New York AG? Are you listening?
UPDATE: The White House response — Bornstein is making a big deal of this.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 1, 2018
No. I don’t buy it. The fact that Schiller left with the originals does not make it sound like this was a typical “business-like” interaction.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that officials “took possession” of Trump’s medical records — but said it was “not her understanding” that it was a raid.
“It would be standard procedure for a newly-elected president’s medical records to be in possession by the White House medical unit,” she said. But that would be done by the government, not Trump people.