Former President Donald Trump insists that he had a “standing order” which automatically declassified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago.
However, former National Security Adviser John Bolton says he never heard anything about such an order during his time in the White House.
“I was never briefed on any such order, procedure, policy when I came in,” Bolton told The New York Times.
He added, “If he were to say something like that, you would have to memorialize that, so that people would know it existed.”
Bolton insisted that the claim about a standing order is “almost certainly a lie” and added, “When somebody begins to concoct lies like this, it shows a real level of desperation.”
Bolton served as Trump’s national security adviser for 17 months until Sept. 2019. He has since become a vocal critic of the 45th president.
On Aug. 8, FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and reportedly recovered several sets of classified documents.
The Wall Street Journal reported, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation agents took around 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Mr. Trump’s ally Roger Stone, a list of items removed from the property shows. Also included in the list was information about the ‘President of France.’”
Trump claimed on Truth Social last week that all the documents were declassified and that the FBI “didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything.”
“They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request,” he added.
He also issued a statement that was read on Fox News on Friday, which stated, “As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different.”
It added, “President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents, including classified documents, to the residence. He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them.”
In a post on his Truth Social on Monday, Trump claimed that the FBI agents also “stole” two valid passports of his.
“This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our country. Third World!” he added.
Trump claims on Truth Social his passports were taken in the MAL search: pic.twitter.com/Z9Lpd3p9Jt
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) August 15, 2022
Amid his comments about the raid, the former president told Fox News, “The country is in a very dangerous position. There is tremendous anger, like I’ve never seen before, over all of the scams, and this new one—years of scams and witch hunts, and now this.”
“If there is anything we can do to help, I, and my people, would certainly be willing to do that,” he added.
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