Former President Donald Trump floated a litany of conspiracies Friday in reaction to a striking report about the contents of the classified documents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence in August by the FBI.
The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that some of the classified documents federal agents seized contained deeply sensitive information, including intelligence on China as well as on Iran’s missile program.
The report was published hours before the congressional committee investigating the 2021 attack on the Capitol issued a subpoena to Trump, compelling him to testify and provide documents relevant to its probe.
Agents this summer took more than 13,000 documents from Trump’s residence at the Florida club, of which 103 were classified and 18 were labeled top secret, according to court filings. Two previous caches of documents returned from Trump’s possession to the National Archives and Records Administration earlier this year contained more than 220 classified documents in total.
Trump took to his social media app after the Post published its report, disparaging both NARA and the FBI, floating several conspiracy theories and appearing to suggest that federal agents may have planted information inside the documents they collected from his property.
Trump did not explicitly deny the report, however, and said that the agencies were now “leaking” to news outlets about the investigation.
The former president said the FBI and the Department of Justice “are now leaking nonstop on the Document Hoax to the Fake News,” and also called NARA and other agencies “corrupt” and “weaponized.”
“Also, who knows what NARA and the FBI plant into documents, or subtract from documents—we will never know, will we?” Trump said, in an open-ended refrain similar to those that have become common for him and his supporters.
Trump has previously floated the theory that federal agents planted some of the documents themselves at Mar-a-Lago and has been called out by a federal judge who asked him to document the sensational claim. The requirement was later lifted.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing with regards to the documents, claiming that the president has unilateral authority to declassify documents even by “thinking” it and that he did so with those that were in possession — statements experts say are at odds with the law. Trump’s lawyers have also not provided evidence that he formally declassified any of the documents.