WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the advent of Donald J. Trump’s latest statements about how former President George HW Bush stole classified documents in a bowling alley (or was it a Chinese restaurant?), we dug deep to unearth the truth behind the claims.
The documents seized by the FBI from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort revealed that George HW Bush stole classified documents, millions of them, and hid them in his favorite DC-area Chinese restaurant, and later in a Chinese-owned bowling alley.
While some have claimed that Trump posited fake news when he declared that Bush hid classified documents and reviewed them in a bowling alley, Trump’s claim is actually rooted in declassified fact, kept in a safe, lo these 2 years, at Mar-a-Lago.
The specific details Trump referenced in his statements came from Appendix Q (page 1191) of the 1995 Bush-Whisk Report 89.341D, section 45.
As Bush-Whisk tells it, after the elder Bush was drummed out of office he frequented a late-night Chinese buffet, Wong Tong Mister #3, on the outskirts of D.C., a dive of a place that, if you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t find it, and even when you found it, you might wish you hadn’t.
But for Bush it was paradise.
Because of the restaurant’s late hours, sparse overnight crowd, and dim lighting, Bush felt it was a safe place to eat under the radar.
Arriving clandestinely once every fortnight or so, entering through the back door around 9:30 or ten, and sometimes staying as late as one in the morning, or whenever Barbara called on the house telephone and asked if he was all right and not too stay out too late, the report states that Bush was especially fond of the house’s fried rice and char sui, both specialties of the owner Mr. Tong. Bush gobbled them down by the plateful, four or five plates, followed by a six pack of Chinese Yanjing Beer.
It was a red wraparound booth in the far back corner curving around an oval formica-top table under a cheap light fixture with small glass panes, such as one might see over a poker table, that Bush liked best.
Through that yellow light the former president could just make out the dim smiling face and tuxedo-clad frame of Mr. Tong, and similar lights throughout the restaurant displayed just enough of the accouterments that one could see, but not too clearly.
Though the booth seats were usually sticky, Bush didn’t seem to mind.
This was one of a handful of post-office highlights for Bush. It went on about six months: what else was there to do?
He was bored being out of office. For the first time in decades, he had no power.
The sight of Bill Clinton made him hanker for the old days of Cuban assassination attempts, subterfuge, Communist intrigue, and melancholy espionage drama that, at any moment, might obliterate the free world. God, what a rush.
Hidey Hole: George HW Bush Stole Classified Documents, Then Hid Them In The Rast Prace Anybody Would Look
It was on one of these late night buffet runs that the former president had an idea, a way, he thought, to get back in the power game, conjure some of that old excitement of the high-strung glory days.
It was time to pull out “the documents”–what Bush called his cache of 3.8 million classified and declassified documents, collected while President.
Bush presented Mr. Tong with a request, one that Mr. Tong said he was “preased to accommodate.”
HW laid out the situation: “Of late I’ve had to rearrange a handful of documents. Nothing would please me more than to be able to use your restaurant as a sort of safe house, a halfway house to store these documents—highly classified, a velvet glove no touch situation. Just for a little while, until we can find a better place to, ah, sort them. You understand. Nobody knows that I visit you here, Tong, and this would be the rast prace they would rook.”
“Ah, so,” said Mr. Tong, “you wish to invorve me in croak and dagger hanky panky, Mr. President!”
Croak and dagger. Just hearing the words gave Bush a thrill.
For a month Mr. Tong kept the documents hidden in the attic of the restaurant, until he ran into what he told Bush one evening was “a ritter snag.”
According to Mr. Tong, “Chinese Overord Boss number six growing powerfur, demanding weekry tribute for protection. In here other day, rooking through Tong’s office. No trace of documents, but President HW, I urge documents be move to brother’s bowring ahrrey in Corumbia Heights.”
Perhaps no greater display of Bush’s relationship with the common man can be provided than this episode; for Bush took Tong at his word, and asking no questions, commanded their relocation.
This was the genius of Bush: though being a blue blood, and among the Elite Entitled, he had a knack for communicating with the common folks, especially when they were foreigners. He trusted them, and they trusted him.
It was also a lucky break that Super Strike #2 would be closed for the next week for remodeling.
That night the two secret service agents transported all of the documents to Super Strike #2, and over the next week Bush and Dan Quayle, Bush’s Vice President, sorted the documents by day and slept in a Motel 6 nearby, under the names George Hush and Danny Quilt.
(The Motel 6 burned to the ground in 2002, though the guest log with Bush and Quayle’s aliases was saved and is now on display at the George HW Bush Presidential Library.)
Bowling Six Perfect Games, Netting One Hundred Grand
The report concludes with an odd reference to Bush bowling six perfect games in a row on a Thursday night, netting a hundred grand in winnings through a well-placed bet with Quayle.
The story goes that Bush and Quayle bowled six games each morning before getting to work sorting the documents. They wagered heavily on the outcome of the games, and for several days it appeared to all parties that Quayle would have the upper hand. Bush, down by $65,000, finally had enough.
“Danny,” said Bush, “I’m handling this situation right now. I’ll bet you a hundred grand I can roll six perfect games.”
And that’s when Bush rolled six perfect games in a row, won a hundred grand from Quayle, and became one of the few bowlers in history to accomplish such a feat.
(Quayle is notoriously tight with his money, and few bowlers have ever managed to collect so much as five dollars from him, let alone a hundred grand.)
Dealing With All The Facts
The documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home reveal all this, and much more.
Perhaps those who cast shade upon Trump’s latest claims aren’t dealing with all the facts. Yes, George HW Bush stole classified documents while he was president.
“The critics don’t have all the information that Mr. Trump has, they’re not privy to it” said Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign manager, who as of this writing believes himself to be a barnyard chicken. “If they had all the information, they would know things that Trump knows, things that sound fakey, made up, but in fact are legitimate bonafides.”
Trump’s only blunder in his statement was to identify the location of the bowling alley as the Trinidad neighborhood of Washington, D.C., rather than Columbia Heights.
“What irks many people in Washington is that this commentary shows that Trump knows many of the blue blood secrets. Trump is now, in a word, an insider, which the insiders hate,” said Parscale.