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New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Zolan Kanno-Youngs penned a piece detailing the remarkable similarities between Donald Trump's evolving alibis for how he ended up with classified information in his safe at Mar-a-Lago and his previous scandals.
Trump's first moves were attacking the FBI, alleging they planted evidence, he was a victim, there was a break-in, it was a witch hunt, and he's being attacked by rogue law enforcement. The excuses, justifications and claims expanded from there, but they're all remarkably similar to the playbook Trump has used for over decades, the Times explained. Most visibly, it was part of the plan when an investigation explored whether his political campaign was conspiring with the Russian government in 2016.
"In both instances, he claimed victimization and mixed some facts with a blizzard of misleading statements or falsehoods. His lawyers denied that he had tied his administration’s withholding of vital military aid to Ukraine to Mr. Trump’s desire for investigations into Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden," wrote the Times.
Trump then tried to use classic whataboutism, claiming that Hillary Clinton had 33 million classified documents and somehow sprinkled acid on them. That is false. Then suddenly, it was former President Barack Obama who had 33 million emails that were carted off to Chicago. The National Archives called that a lie on Friday as well.
The report went on to cite the Kash Patel interview in which the Trump administration official claimed that the former president had declassified everything as a former president. According to right-wing writer John Solomon on Fox, Trump 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.”
"That claim would not resolve the investigation. Two of the laws referred to in the search warrant executed this week criminalize the taking or concealment of government records, regardless of whether they had anything to do with national security," the report said. "And laws against taking material with restricted national security information are not dependent on whether the material is technically classified."
John Bolton made it clear that the claim is "almost certainly a lie."
“I was never briefed on any such order, procedure, policy when I came in,” Bolton said, according to the Times. He also said that he'd never been told of something like that while working for Trump's White House nor had he heard of such a thing. “If he were to say something like that, you would have to memorialize that, so that people would know it existed."
He also told the Times that there are secure rooms and built for Trump at Bedminster and Mar-a-Lago where sensitive materials were able to be viewed. So, none of those documents would have to be declassified to begin with.
“When somebody begins to concoct lies like this, it shows a real level of desperation," he said.
Trump also released a statement in June saying all documents marked "classified" were returned to the government.
Trump supporters have gone to war with law enforcement — and ex-FBI analyst warns it's growing worse
After Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf club, where he lives, got a visit from the FBI this week looking for a set of classified documents that they thought the former president stole from the White House, his followers have waged war.
The day after the execution of a search warrant, Trump supporters were cataloged online, making threats against the judge who signed the search warrant. They revealed all of his personal information, called for information about his children, began attacking his place of worship and called for his death. That trend has continued as Trump supporters are now going after law enforcement.
Those who once chanted to "back the blue" are now demanding to defund federal law enforcement, doxing FBI agents, finding their children on social media sites. On Thursday, a Trump supporter who appeared at the Capitol on Jan. 6 went after the FBI headquarters in Cincinnati with an AR-15 and a nail gun which he thought would be able to shoot through bulletproof glass. Republican leaders have spent the past several days calling them "dangerous."
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) wrote on Twitter, “The FBI has proven time and again that it is corrupt to the core. At what point do we abolish the Bureau and start over?”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tweeted “DEFUND THE FBI!” and is now selling t-shirts saying as much.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) agreed with the defunding language.
“The antidote has to be not one more damn penny for this administrative state that has been weaponized against our people in a very fascist way,” said Gaetz.
Friday the FBI and Department of Homeland Security released a bulletin that warned of Trump supporters seeking to bomb FBI headquarters around the country. They also explained that since the search warrant, there had been a dramatic increase in threats against the FBI.
“The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in threats to federal law enforcement and to a lesser extent other law enforcement and government officials following the FBI’s recent execution of a search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida," the bulletin said.
NBC News reported that the bulletin also says that the threats are happening online and they sent the note out after an abundance of caution
"It calls on authorities to be vigilant and to be aware of issues surrounding domestic violent extremists, past and present incidents, and past behaviors," said the piece.
Speaking to CNN, former FBI senior counter-intelligence analyst Phil Mudd revealed that he hasn't worked for the bureau for over a decade, but even he is being sent threats.
"I think there's a couple of things you need to think about," said Mudd. "The first would be threats to American citizens who happen to be FBI employees. If you look at what happened in Cincinnati and you've seen reports today, of armed individuals outside the office in Phoenix, this is a numbers game, Jim. If politicians start to encourage people to commit acts of violence against the FBI, even if you say, defund the FBI, there is a violent fringe that will say, I want to take action. There might be 100th of 1 percent of the fringe who say, that means I should commit an act of violence."
He went on to explain that the FBI offices are largely open and that they work with the public.
"If 0.001 percent of the population says, 'I need to commit an act of violence the FBI employees are under threat," he said.
See the interview below:
Trump supporters have gone to war with law enforcement www.youtube.com
Pence Homeland Security official blasts 'insane' interview with House Intel Republican for 'fueling violence'
Speaking to CNN on Sunday, former Homeland Security adviser Olivia Troye said that she was "disgusted" with Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), who appeared earlier trying to make excuses for Donald Trump amid the scandal that he may have stolen classified documents upon leaving office.
Turner admitted he would never take home classified documents, but maintained that Trump would never take classified documents.
"I watched that interview earlier when it aired today and I have to tell you, I was disgusted with Congressman Turner especially given the fact he is the ranking Republican on the House Intel Committee and the fact that he would show just complete disregard for intelligence and national security documents," said Troye in an interview with Jim Acosta. "It doesn't matter what's in the documents, Jim. What matters is these documents don't belong down in Mar-a-Lago, where there's a bunch of foreigners going in and out of the place and putting potentially national security information at risk. And so that's neither here nor there."
She went on to say that it was "preposterous," Turner would dismiss the documents as unimportant even if they were classified because they were from two years ago.
"That says a lot about what his knowledge must be on the intelligence community because he should know better and understand in many situations, intelligence operations take a decade, if not more than a decade to kind of get into place and takes a long time to develop," Troye explained. "I found the entire interview insane. These are the type of people that are fueling this kind of dangerous sort of narratives, dangerous rhetoric, fueling violence, potentially, political violence across the country as we are seeing it directed at FBI offices today and we're seeing the protests outside of the FBI again."
See the video below:
Pence DHS official blasts 'insane' interview with House Intel Republican for 'fueling violence' youtu.be