Former President Donald Trump holds up papers during a press conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room on April 20, 2020.
Donald Trump claimed he could remove documents from the White House because of a “standing order.”
Several former Trump officials told CNN that the claim was false or “total nonsense.”
There would have been “tremendous pushback from the Intel Community and DoD,” a senior White House official said.
Donald Trump’s claim that he had a standing order allowing him to remove classified documents from the White House is “total nonsense,” one senior White House official said.
After the FBI removed sensitive documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on August 8, the former president has since provided a series of ever-changing justifications for why the records were there in the first place.
His recent claim that there was a “standing order” to declassify documents as soon as they were removed from the White House was challenged by 18 top Trump administration officials, according to a CNN report.
The senior White House official who called Trump’s assertion “nonsense” said there would have been documentation of the order and it would have seen significant pushback across multiple agencies and committees.
“If that’s true, where is the order with his signature on it,” the official told CNN. “If that were the case, there would have been tremendous pushback from the Intel Community and [the Department of Defense], which would almost certainly have become known to Intel and Armed Services Committees on the Hill.”
Another source confirmed to CNN that Trump does have broad declassification powers but there should be records of him doing so.
If Trump did make such an order, one senior intelligence official said leaders in the intel community “would not have allowed it” and “resigned.”