Copyright ImageClick to View House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Capitol Hill in Washington in October 2012. On Saturday, Issa named three witnesses who will appear at a May 8 hearing on the US response to the terrorist threat that cost four Americans their lives in Benghazi…
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The Department of Justice says that it executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago to protect critical nuclear weapons and signals intelligence documents, but Donald Trump's new defense is that the entire world is already free to view the documents.
On Friday evening, Trump's organization reportedly gave an exclusive new statement to far-right writer John Solomon, who proceeded to read it on-air on Fox News. Solomon is one of Trump's representatives to the National Archives and Records Administration, along with Kash Patel.
"As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents including classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence," Trump admitted, even though some of the documents recovered are supposed to remain in a SCIF or "Secure, Compartmentalized Information Facility."
"He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified," the unnamed spokesperson said.
That would mean that all of the documents in question are now in the public domain.
"The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States. The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated by the president, needs to approve of declassification is absurd," the statement falsely claimed.
The president does not have the power to unilaterally declassify nuclear weapons information.
On Friday, The New York Times reported that pro-Trump users on the president's social media network Truth Social are starting to push the idea that calls for violence against the FBI for most of the week were a false flag operation planted by government agents.
"Truth Social users posted that the United States was born 'through an insurrection followed by several years of bloody violence,' and that the country would 'become a communist state just as long as we don’t pick up arms and fight back!!'" reported Tiffany Hsu and Sheera Frankel. "There was talk that 'the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,' a phrase from a letter by Thomas Jefferson, and that 'sometimes clearing out dangerous vermin requires a modicum of violence, unfortunately.'"
"But later in the week, a different narrative gained traction, propelled without evidence by other prominent Truth Social users: that calls for violence were posts planted by federal law enforcement officials or Democratic operatives to frame right-wing patriots as insurrectionists and extremists," said the report. "The point, the conspiracy theory goes, is to give the Biden administration cover to strip Trump supporters of guns, or to set up a pretext for martial law."
Among the prominent users pushing this was Jack Posobiec, a far-right activist who helped spread the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory. On Thursday, Posobiec posted “ANYONE POSTING ABOUT BEING VIOLENT RIGHT NOW IS A FED.”
This comes after Ricky Shiffer, a former January 6 insurrectionist suspected to have posted calls for violence against federal agents on Truth Social, tried to shoot his way into an FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday. State police pursued him and eventually killed him in a shootout.
"The sentiments on Trump’s social media network extended to other platforms as well," the report continued. "One Proud Boys Telegram channel, used by hundreds of members of the militant group, posted in the hours after the search that 'civil war is imminent.' On Twitter, there was a tenfold increase in tweets mentioning 'civil war' in the 24 hours after the raid, according to Dataminr, a tool that analyzes Twitter data."
Salman Rushdie's agent gave a grim update on his condition after he was stabbed after taking the stage for a "discussion of the United States as an asylum for writers and other artists in exile."
Rushdie has transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital and underwent several hours of surgery, The New York Times reported.
Rushdie's agent, Andrew Wylie, told the newspaper on Friday evening that Rushdie could not speak as he was on a ventilator.
“The news is not good," Wylie said.
"Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," he explained.
The Chautaugua Institute, where Rushdie was scheduled to speak alongside Henry Reese, described the author while promoting the event.
"One of the most celebrated authors of our time, Salman Rushdie is the author of 14 novels, four works of nonfiction and a collection of short stories, in addition to serving as co-editor of two anthologies," the institute said. "He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature, has been a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1983, and was appointed Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 1999."
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