Former White House national security adviser John Bolton on Sunday poured cold water on former President Donald Trump’s claim that he had a standing order to declassify documents he took from the Oval Office, Mediate reports.
Trump’s office on Friday issued a statement claiming that all documents he removed from the White House were declassified.
“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 the work the next day, often took documents including classified documents to the residence,” the statement said. “He 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. 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 the declassification is absurd,” the statement concluded.
Bolton calls BS:
Bolton told The New York Times that the claim is “almost certainly a lie.”
“I was never briefed on any such order, procedure, policy when I came in,” Bolton said. “If he were to say something like that, you would have to memorialize that, so that people would know it existed.”
“When somebody begins to concoct lies like this, it shows a real level of desperation,” Bolton added.
Schiff calls claim “absurd”:
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff also told CBS News that he has seen no evidence that Trump’s documents were declassified.
“I’ve seen no evidence of that, nor have they presented any evidence of that,” Schiff said.
“A former president has no declassification authority,” he told the outlet. “The idea that 18 months after the fact Donald Trump could simply announce, ‘Well, I’m retroactively declassifying’ or ‘Whatever I took home had the effect of declassifying them,’ is absurd.”