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Trump news - live: Ex-president claims nuclear documents story a ‘hoax’ while fundraising off Mar-a-Lago raid

Rolling coverage of the latest developments following the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago

Trump lawyer does not ‘believe’ that secret nuclear documents found at Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump is blasting out fundraising messages to his supporters in the wake of reports that he may have had nuclear weapons-related documents at Mar-a-Lago – and is sending out emails featuring mocked-up nuclear codes.

Mr Trump has repeatedly suggested without basis that the FBI planted evidence during the search, but has not yet specifically denied that any documents were kept at the property or seized during the raid. He has however said he won’t oppose a move by the Justice Department to make public the search warrant that authorised the raid.

“Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents,” he wrote. “Release the documents now!”

The Department of Justice yesterday filed a motion to unseal the warrant, with attorney general Merrick Garland stressing that the decision was not taken lightly – and confirming that he personally authorised the decision to seek the warrant in the first place.

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Trump smears Obama on nuclear documents (with added dog whistle)

Donald Trump has fired off another statement about the reports of nuclear weapons documents at Mar-a-Lago, this one resurfacing a false conspiracy theory about his predecessor’s presidential library – and pointedly using his middle name, a something Mr Trump does not usually bother with, instead referring to his predecessor as simply “Obama”.

Given that he was one of the leading proponents of the racist “birther” conspiracy theory, his use of “Barack Hussein Obama” in an email directed at supporters carries a very particular weight.

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Pelosi on “very serious” matter of Mar-a-Lago documents

At a press conference on the hill before the House passes the Inflation Reduction Act, Nancy Pelosi has given a tentative but grave answer on the reports that Donald Trump may have been keeping nuclear weapons-related documents at Mar-a-Lago:

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Trump fundraises with fake nuclear codes

Having claimed the reports of nuclear weapons-related documents at Mar-a-Lago are merely a “hoax”, Donald Trump is now sending fundraising emails to supporters riffing on the presidential nuclear codes:

The codes in the so-called “biscuit” carried around with the president will have been changed on the day Mr Trump’s term ended, as happens whenever there is a change of president.

According to Eric Trump, money has been pouring into his father’s coffers since the news of the raid broke. John Bowden reports.

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Analysis: If Trump had nuclear documents, that spells jail time

As we await further details of what exactly the FBI was looking for at Mar-a-Lago, Andrew Feinberg writes that should reports of documents related to nuclear weapons be borne out, the consequences for Donald Trump could be extremely severe:

Special access programs — often called “codeword” programs, because they can be identified by a single codeword that is itself classified — can be anything from foreign intelligence collected on an adversary’s nuclear stockpile to the schematics for nuclear reactors used to power American submarines.

I asked an acquaintance from my university days, a former US Navy submariner, whether the presence of nuclear-related documents at Mar-a-Lago could make a difference in what will happen to Trump. His response was short and to-the-point.

“He’s going to prison,” he said.

You see, when it comes to protecting anything related to nuclear anything, the US government simply does not mess around.

Read his piece below.

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House GOP leadership lean into Trump’s FBI talking points

The House Freedom Caucus may have cancelled its scheduled press conference about the Mar-a-Lago raid, but another group of Republican members have been holding a media briefing of their own – and among them is the number 3 Republican, Elise Stefanik – who seems to be enthusiastically embracing Donald Trump’s preferred framing of this week’s events.

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A history of Trump’s leaks

The FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in connection with “classified nuclear documents” is not the former president’s first alleged run-in over confidential information.

Courtesy of Sravasti Dasgupta, here are some other such instances which had the involvement of Mr Trump in the past.

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Lawyer says Trump family watched Mar-a-Lago raid remotely from New York

Donald Trump attorney Christina Bobb said the former president and his family watched the FBI search in his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on security cameras from New York.

Ms Bobb said the president and his family “probably had a better view than I did because they had the CCTV they were able to watch. I was stuck in a parking lot.”

“They were actually able to see the whole thing... They actually have a better idea of what took place inside,” she said on Real America’s Voice.

The host questioned her about reports that said the FBI had turned off all the cameras. “You are telling me they didn’t,” the anchor told Ms Bobb.

“They did. So initially they said that... need to turn off all cameras and of course, the staff complied... oh the FBI is making us turn off the cameras and then lawyers said that you don’t actually don’t have to turn them off. So shortly after they turned them back on,” she responded.

Maroosha Muzaffar has the story.

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Analysis: How Garland called Trump’s bluff

As Mary Trump explains that her uncle is incapable of understanding that someone who looks and speaks like Merrick Garland might in fact be “a ninja” who poses him a real threat, Andrew Buncombe takes a look at how the soft-spoken and deliberate attorney general used his press conference yesterday to put Donald Trump into an extremely awkward position:

Garland, 69, who spent more than 20 years as a judge and might have ended up on the Supreme Court but for the antics of Mitch McConnell, looked sober and calm. His dark suit and navy tie looked lawerly, his words were measured...

Garland spoke for a little under six minutes. As he left the podium, it appeared he was going to respond to a question, but quickly thought better of it and left the room.

Trump can try and get ahead of the story by releasing the warrant and revealing what the Feds were after. But let’s not bank on it.

He responded by again insisting he was trying to help. “My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established. The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it,” he said in a statment.

Read the full analysis below.

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Trump lawyer calls nuclear documents reports “scaremongering”

Donald Trump’s attorney Christina Bobb strongly denied that there were secret nuclear documents at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, before admitting that she has not spoken directly to the former president about the issue.

The former president’s attorney was asked by Fox News host Laura Ingraham if she knew for a fact that documents related to nuclear issues were not in Mr Trump’s possession.

“Is it your understanding that there were no documents related to our nuclear capabilities or nuclear issues that have national security implications in the president’s possession when agents showed up at Mar-a-Lago?”

“I don’t believe there were,” Ms Bobb replied. “I have not specifically spoken to the president about what nuclear materials may or may not have been in there. I do not believe there were any.”

Shweta Sharma reports:

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Christopher Wray’s statement on FBI attacks

In light of yesterday’s attempted attack on an FBI office in Cincinnati Ohio, as well as the abuse and unsubstantiated allegations emanating from Republican Trump allies and right-wing media over the last week, bureau chief Christopher Wray put out the following statement on the danger posed by the relentless invective directed against his organisation and its staff:

Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others. Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans. Every day I see the men and women of the FBI doing their jobs professionally and with rigor, objectivity, and a fierce commitment to our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution. I am proud to serve alongside them.

Richard Hall has this profile of Mr Wray – whom it’s worth remembering was appointed by Donald Trump.

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