Trump on not handing over classified documents: ‘I’ve been busy’

Former US President Donald Trump, who faces dozens of charges of mishandling classified government documents, defended himself, Monday, in an interview on “Fox News”. Fox Newssaying that his “extreme preoccupation” prevented him from sorting out these documents, which were mixed with his personal belongings.

Last Tuesday, Trump appeared before a Miami judge to read 37 charges against him after the FBI found him Boxes containing classified documents at his residence in Florida last August.

The US Department of Justice accuses Trump, who is running for the White House next year, of violating the Espionage Act and other laws when He carried the documents with him when he left office It was not handed over to the National Archives.

Trump told his host Brett Bear on Fox News, in an unusually sharp interview on the conservative channel that supported him during his presidency, and was broadcast on Monday evening, that when he quickly left the White House in January 2021, his personal belongings were mixed with classified government documents.

“In my case, I took it out pretty much in a hurry, but people packed it up and we left. And I had clothes there and all sorts of personal belongings (…) a lot of things,” he added. “I have every right to hold these boxes,” Trump said.

When Burr asked him why he didn’t just hand over the documents when officials asked for them, Trump replied: “I had to go through the boxes and take out all my personal belongings. I don’t want to hand over those things … yet.” “I’ve been very busy, as you can see,” he continued.

In the indictment, the Justice Department described evidence including an audio recording of Trump in July 2021 during a meeting with an author, publisher and two of his staff, during which the former president presented what he called a “top secret” document.

Trump said, according to the accusation: “This is classified information.. You see, I, as president, could have declassified it,” adding, “Now I can’t.”

When Bear, who was checking all his answers directly, pressed him to comment on the recording, Trump said that what he was showing others “wasn’t a document.”

“I had copies of press articles and copies of magazines with me,” he said, adding: “huge amounts of papers (…) about Iran and other things. I may have highlighted it or not, but this was not a document.”

Burr also raised with Trump the issue of several Republicans who worked in his administration and are now either running against him or harshly criticizing him, including Bill Barr, who as attorney general has refused to consider his allegations of election fraud.

And when Trump repeated his baseless allegations of fraud, Bear confronted him bluntly without regard, saying, “You lost the 2020 election,” and also lost appeals to judges he had previously appointed.

Fox News agreed in April to pay $787.5 million in a legal settlement to voting technology company Dominion, which accused the television giant of promoting Trump’s election fraud allegations without evidence.

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