Trump denies storing nuclear weapons papers at Mar-a-Lago and accuses FBI of ‘planting information’

The former president says “nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a hoax.”

Eric Garcia
Friday 12 August 2022 22:35 BST
Garland says he personally approved the warrant for Mar-a-Lago search

Former president Donald Trump denied reports that he had documents related to nuclear weapons at his home on Friday morning and accused the FBI of “planting information.”

Mr Trump lashed out on his media platform Truth Social in response to a report from The Washington Post published Thursday evening. The report explained that when the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this week, they were looking for documents relating to nuclear weapons.

Mr Trump compared the report to the investigation into Russia interfering with the 2016 presidential election and the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller.

“Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a hoax, two impeachments were a hoax, the Mueller investigation was a hoax, and much more,” he said. “Same sleazy people involved.”

Mr Trump asked why the FBI would not allow inspection of Mar-a-Lago with his lawyers present.

“Made them wait outside in the heat, wouldn’t let them even close-said “ABSOLUTELY NOT,’” he said. “Planting information anyone?”

The former president said it was reminscent of the dossier compiled by Christopher Steele.

He also turned his attention to his predecessor several times on Friday, wondering if former President Barack Obama had taken any classified nuclear secrets with him when he left office, Mr Trump alleged with 33 million pages of documents.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!”

The National Archives was quick to dismiss Mr Trump’s baseless claims, releasing a statement on Friday debunking what the former president was alleging, noting that it had relocated approximately 30 million pages of documents to Chicago, the site of the future Obama presidential library, but maintains them exclusively.

Mr Trump’s words come the day after Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he personally authorised the search of Mr Trump’s home. Mr Garland also said the Justice Department asked the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida to unseal the search warrant.

“Where possible it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken,” Mr Garland said on Thursday.

On Friday afternoon, the FBI’s search warrant was made public. While there was no direct mention of nuclear secrets, the boxes contained 11 separate sets of classified documents, including documents marked as top secret and the set of “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information” documents, the latter of which would have ordinarily required to be viewed in a secure facility known as a SCIF.

Four of the document sets were listed as classified top secret, three were marked as secret, and another three were marked as confidential, the lowest level of classification in the US system.

The FBI conducted a search of Mr Trump’s home in Palm Beach Florida on Monday, which Mr Trump immediately decried.

Previously, a number of House Republicans were expected to give a conference to the press on Friday morning. Amid the emerging details of the search at Mar-a-Lago, they reportedly canceled their press conference.

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