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    ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos cornered Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) into admitting he disagrees with Donald Trump’s claim he could declassify sensitive documents merely by thought. Speaking to Barrasso on Sunday for ABC’s This Week, Stephanopoulos asked the senator about the former president’s attempt to defend himself for keeping top secret documents at Mar-a-Lago. After repeatedly pushing his dubious claim that the Mar-a-Lago documents were declassified, Trump took his claims to a new level last week when he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday that presidents can declassify by just “thinking about it.” Trump’s claim has been dismissed by his fellow Republicans, and Stephanopoulos noted that the former president’s lawyers are struggling to make that claim in court. “Even his lawyers have provided no evidence that he declassified the documents,” Stephanopoulos said. Asked if he agrees with Trump’s claims about declassifying by thought, Barrasso answered “I’ve not heard that one before” before digressing in protest of the FBI’s search for the documents at Mar-a-Lago. “I don’t know anything about the rules for when a president declassifies documents and information,” he...
    Former President Donald Trump recently suggested that presidents don't necessarily have to conduct a formal process when it comes to declassifying documents. In fact, the former president claimed documents can be declassified “even by thinking about it.” During a recent interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Trump offered his take on the top-secret documents taken from the White House and transported to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. READ MORE: Team Trump refuses special master's order to list which Mar-a-Lago documents Trump 'declassified' “There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it,” Trump told Hannity. “If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘It’s declassified.’ Even by thinking about it.” The former president went on to offer more context to his unfounded claim. According to Trump, a president has the power to make any decision he desires even without a formal process. “There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be. You’re the president. You make that decision. So when you send it, it’s declassified,” Trump...
    National security attorney Bradley P. Moss said he tried not to laugh when he heard former President Donald Trump claim a president can declassify documents merely by “thinking about it.” Trump sat down with Fox News host Sean Hannity for an hour-long interview at Mar-a-Lago that touched on several subjects, including the August FBI raid of his home where agents found thousands of government documents. At one point, Trump told Hannity he was able to declassify documents simply by “thinking about it.” Asked if a president has a process for declassification, Trump said: If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘It’s declassified,’ even by thinking about it because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or wherever you’re sending it. And there doesn’t have to be a process. There can be a process but there doesn’t have to be. You’re the president. On The Last Word, host Lawrence O’Donnell played the clip and asked Moss for his thoughts. Moss responded: Yeah, I saw that clip right before I came on and I tried not to...
    Donald Trump's attorney general condemned his former boss on Friday, saying there was no legitimate reason for government documents to be kept at Mar-a-Lago. Bill Barr said he did not believe Trump's claim that he had declassified everything before it was taken to his Florida resort, and he hit back at critics of the FBI search saying it was 'unprecedented' for such sensitive materials to be taken to a 'country club.' Barr made his comments as Trump supporters continue to accuse the FBI and Department of Justice of conducted a witch hunt. But on Friday, a court filing revealed the extent of the materials recovered from Trump's Florida home: 18 documents marked as top secret, 54 marked secret, 31 marked as confidential, and 11,179 government documents or photographs that had no classification markings. Barr defended the Department of Justice actions and expressed disbelief at Trump's defense that he had declassified the materials. 'If in fact he sort of stood over scores of boxes, not really knowing what was in them, and said, "I hereby declassify everything in here," that would be...
    On Sunday during Fox & Friends, co-host Will Cain invoked comments from former President Richard Nixon that had been misinterpreted and later walked back, to give justification to Donald Trump’s claim that he has the ultimate power to declassify documents, in light of Monday’s raid. According to the inventory list obtained from the Mar-a-Lago raid, 11 sets of documents were taken by the FBI from Trump’s estate, including some with extremely high levels of classification. In a conversation with Fox News commentator Bill Bennett, Cain claimed that Nixon said “if a president does it, then it is not illegal,” as it related to classified information. The co-host asked, “is that not truly the standard?” while pressing Bennett on whether the president really has the authority to “declassify anything,” whenever he wants. However, the quote that Cain mentioned from Nixon was said during a 1977 interview and was walked back by the former president a few months later. This statement, although Nixon attempted to clean it up afterward by arguing in a statement that no one is above the law, was...
    WASHINGTON (AP/KDKA) — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday directing the declassification of certain documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a supportive gesture to victims’ families who have long sought the records in hopes of implicating the Saudi government. The order, coming little more than a week before the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is a significant moment in a yearslong tussle between the government and the families over what classified information about the run-up to the attacks could be made public. That conflict was on display last month when some 1,800 relatives, survivors and first responders came out against Biden’s participation in 9/11 memorial events if the documents remained declassified. READ MORE: Duquesne Police Find Mannequin Staged To Look Like Murder Of Teen Girl “The significant events in question occurred two decades ago or longer, and they concern a tragic moment that continues to resonate in American history and in the lives of so many Americans,” the executive order states. “It is therefore critical to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, relying...
    The son of a man who died at the World Trade Center in the 9/11 attacks made a direct plea to President Joe Biden on CNN Friday night. At issue for Brett Eagleson and many others whose loved ones died in the attacks 20 years ago, are classified documents that they say will show the culpability of Saudi leaders. Eagleson is one of nearly 1,800 people personally impacted by the 9/11 attacks who signed a statement saying they will not welcome Biden’s participation in 9/11-related events unless he declassifies those documents. “We want to see President Biden stand with us and stand up for American citizens,” Eagleson told CNN guest host Michael Smerconish. “It’s been too long. It’s been 20 years. And the 9/11 families deserve justice and closure.” Eagleson claimed the Department of Justice has “significant evidence” showing that the Saudi government “materially supported” the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks, 15 of whom were from Saudi Arabia. Eagleson called on Biden to break with his predecessors and classify the alleged documents. “Be our champion, Mr. President,” Eagleson...
    White House chief of staff Mark Meadows rejected suggestions this week that President Trump’s tweets earlier this month calling for the “total declassification” of all documents related to the Russia investigation and the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server were an explicit order to release more documents. Meadows comments came in a sworn, two-page declaration filed in federal court Tuesday as part of a lawsuit by media and other groups to declassify former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full report, without redactions. DECLASSIFIED TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE DOCS TO DATE: WHAT TO KNOW The president, on Oct. 6, tweeted: “I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax.” He added: “Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!” A federal judge had asked the White House to clarify whether the president had ordered that declassification in his social media posts — a position that conflicts with the Justice Department. Meadows defended the president’s tweets, saying they were not a direct order to the Justice Department. “The...
    White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told a judge that President Donald Trump didn't mean it when he tweeted a demand to have everything from the 'Russia Hoax' unredacted.  In a sworn statement to the court, Meadows explained that two October Trump tweets were not an order the court needed to follow through on, nor did they pertain to particular documents that news organizations have been suing the government to get their hands on.  'The president indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents, including the FD-302 reports of witness interviews prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with the investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III,' Meadows wrote in a document signed Tuesday.  White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (left) told a judge Tuesday that President Donald Trump (right) wasn't serious when he said that there should be 'no redactions' related to 'Russia Hoax,' as news organizations fight to see portions of the Mueller investigation ...
    The world is turned upside down: the press says President Donald Trump was telling the truth when he said on Twitter that he declassified all “Russia Hoax” documents, while the Department of Justice argues in court that the president of the United States lied about that. On Friday, Senior U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said during a hearing that the president’s intent on the subject of complete declassification of Russia documents seemed crystal clear. Ever since the Robert Mueller’s Russia report was released with redactions, multiple lawsuits have sought to force the DOJ to disclose anything from grand jury information to FBI witness interviews known as 302s. BuzzFeed has been at the forefront of these challenges, while the DOJ has fought tooth-and-nail against these lawsuits at every turn. Then the president stepped in it, promising “any and all” Russia documents with “no redactions.” Note: he used the words “I have fully authorized.” “I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary...
    President Trump’s decision Tuesday to authorize the declassification of all documents related to the high-profile Russia investigation and the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state was embraced by supporters and brushed off by detractors. Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce that he wanted all relevant files pertaining to “the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax” released. He said he also wants all relevant documents pertaining to the Clinton email probe. “No redactions!” he tweeted. Trump’s demand came a day after he was released by Walter Reed Medical Center after a brief stay after coming down with COVID-19. The presidential election is headed into the final stretch and Trump seems to have some ground to make up, according to recent polls. The president’s announcement led to fierce exchanges on social media. Gen. Michael Hayden, the former CIA director under President George W. Bush, got into a public clash on Twitter with Richard Grenell, the former acting Director of National Intelligence under Trump. Grenell...
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