Did Donald Trump Just Implicate Himself in a Fox Interview?

In a recent interview with Fox News, former President Donald Trump provided an explanation for his decision to retain classified materials after leaving the White House. Trump cited the need to personally review the boxes filled with documents before handing them over to the National Archives.

During the interview, Fox anchor Bret Baier questioned Trump about the possibility of simply handing over the documents.

“Why not just hand them over then?” Baier asked.

“Because I had boxes. I want to go through the boxes and get all my personal things out,” Trump responded. “I don’t want to hand that over to [the National Archives] yet. And I was very busy, as you’ve sort of seen.”

Baier also mentioned the Justice Department’s indictment, which alleged that Trump instructed an aide to move the boxes containing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. The indictment further claimed that Trump instructed his lawyers to imply his cooperation while retaining the boxes.

Trump, however, maintained his stance, explaining that he needed to remove his personal items from the boxes before sending them over.

“Before I send boxes over, I have to take all of my things out,” Trump said. “These boxes were interspersed with all sorts of things, golf shirts, clothing, pants, shoes, there were many things.”

The interview marked his first public appearance since being arraigned on federal charges last week. Trump entered a plea of not guilty to 37 counts of charges brought against him in connection with a Department of Justice indictment. The indictment accuses him of violating the Espionage Act and obstructing justice by unlawfully retaining classified records from his presidency and refusing to relinquish them.

Baier read back to Trump a part of the indictment where the former president allegedly talked about a classified document containing a plan to attack Iran. Trump reportedly said that “as president, [he] could have declassified it… now [he] can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”

In the interview, Trump maintained his power as president to declassify documents. However, the materials discovered in his Mar-A-Lago mansion were retained even after he stepped down from office.

When asked about the presence of Iran documents among the items, Trump stated that he was not aware of such documents, adding that everything he took with him was declassified.

“Bret, there was no document,” Trump insisted. “That was a massive amount of papers and everything else, talking about Iran and other things. And it may have been held up or may not. That was not a document. I didn’t have any document per se. There was nothing to declassify, these were newspaper stories, magazine stories, and articles.”

He pleaded not guilty to charges on 37 counts, including violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice, for retaining classified records from his presidency and refusing to return them.

The indictment, which emerged from an investigation led by special counsel Jack Smith, also highlighted additional charges against Trump, including concealing documents and making false statements. The document revealed that Trump had kept the classified materials in various rooms of his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, which frequently hosted significant events and gatherings. It further alleged that Trump had discussed specific classified materials on two occasions with club staff who lacked security clearances.

During the latter part of the interview, Trump and Baier engaged in a contentious exchange regarding the outcome of the 2020 election. Despite the Fox anchor’s persistent attempts to remind the former president of his defeat, Trump continued to assert baseless claims about fraudulent ballots.

The remainder of their conversation centered around Trump criticizing US President Joe Biden’s approach to international diplomacy, spanning from Ukraine and the Middle East to China. Throughout his remarks, Trump nostalgically reflected on his tenure in office, emphasizing his belief that things were far superior during his presidency.

Trump, who set the record for a US president to be indicted twice, is currently running his presidential bid for 2024. He was previously indicted for an alleged hush-money transaction he allegedly struck with an adult film star in 2016.

Information for this story was found via The Hill, Rolling Stone, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses

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