Trump's telepathic declassification defense met with scorn and derision by legal scholars
Donald Trump delivering a speech at a campaign rally held at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Evan El-Amin /

Legal experts on Wednesday largely disagreed with Donald Trump's Fox News argument that he had the ability to declassify documents with his mind.

"There doesn't have to be a process, as I understand it. You know, there's different people, say different things," Trump told Sean Hannity. "If you're the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, 'it's declassified' — even by thinking about it."

Attorney and former FBI Agent Asha Rangappa joked, "he’s actually invoking the Secret Telepathic Unilateral Preemptive Irreversible Declassification (S.T.U.P.I.D.) defense."

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wrote, "that's beyond wrong, it's insane."

On MSNBC, anchor Lawrence O'Donnell played a clip of the interview and asked national security lawyer Bradley Moss for analysis.

"Yeah, I saw that clip right before I came on and I tried not to burst out laughing," Moss replied.

Moss noticed that judges ruled three times during the Trump administration that the declassification process must occur.

"If he is sitting there and thinking in his mind 'hey, I decided I'm going to declassify the secrets about Iran tonight,' the NSA needs to know if there was their signals intelligence or CIA needs to know," Moss explained. "You can't just willy-nilly do it and that's his big problem."

"That's why there is no declaration in the civil case proving he declassified anything," Moss said. "Because he's got nothing, zero, zippo, zilch, nada."

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