Donald Trump has been accusing his predecessors of improperly storing classified documents, as the Department of Justice has alleged against him, but an analysis shows his claims are misleading and "desperate."
Federal investigators are probing his handling of top-secret government documents for a potential criminal prosecution, and MSNBC's Steve Benen examined the twice-impeached former president's attempts to deflect.
"Trump’s first push was to draw a connection between his controversy and Hillary Clinton’s emails, though this didn’t work because the stories have so little in common," Benen wrote. "This led Trump to shift gears and argue that Barack Obama also took classified secrets and clashed with the National Archives. This proved to be utterly bonkers. Trump also took an interest in George W. Bush’s emails, but the story proved irrelevant."
Trump bizarrely claimed Bush stashed "millions and millions" of government records at "an old and broken Chinese restaurant," which has some basis in the truth, but he neglected to tell his rally supporters that the National Archives, in accordance with the law, sorted his presidential materials in a building that had once housed the eatery while uniformed guards kept watch.
"The idea that there was 'no security,' and the place had 'a broken front door and broken windows' is ridiculous," Benen wrote. "Similarly, it wasn’t even Bush who took the materials to the location. How is this similar to Trump allegedly taking classified records, storing them at a glorified country club, and refusing to give them back? It’s not similar at all."
"The former president keeps shoveling excuses onto the pile he's feeding his supporters, but none of them seem to work, and each new revelation about the case points to his criminal liability."
"It’s a desperate talking point from a flailing politician who apparently can’t think of any legitimate defenses for his own apparent misconduct," Benen concluded.