Fox News host refutes Trump’s claim that Obama kept 33 million classified documents


Fox News anchor Bret Baier has refuted suggestions promoted by Donald Trump and another Fox News personality that former President Barack Obama mishandled 33 million documents, including classified documents.

Following the FBI’s raid for top secret documents and other classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort residence on Monday, the former president attempted to draw parallels with the transfer by Obama of federal records in Chicago after leaving the White House. “What are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of them classified, that President Obama took to Chicago? Trump asked Friday in a Truth Social article.

Trump made a similar statement Thursday, writing, “What happened to the 30 million pages of documents taken from the White House to Chicago by Barack Hussein Obama? He refused to return them! What’s going on? he ?”

Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Friday refuted comparisons made by Donald Trump between his handling of classified information and the actions of former President Barack Obama. Top left, Baier is seen at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on July 8 in Stateline, Nevada. Top right, Trump leaves Trump Tower on Wednesday in New York.
Isaiah Vazquez/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images

Baier dismissed the comparison during a Fox News segment on Friday, saying that although Obama moved the documents, that action followed legal process. In Trump’s case, the legal process does not appear to have been followed, although the former president and his lawyers maintain that he declassified the documents before leaving the White House.

“There is a process. President Obama, according to NARA and this statement and everything we know, followed the processes to get these documents to Chicago,” Baier said. “There was, you know, a lot of grumbling that they hadn’t been posted as promised, but the way they were handled was done by that process.”

Baier continued, pointing out that the “difference” is that Obama’s documents “were handled correctly.” He said the question is “if there is a paper trail and a process for these documents, if that’s what Trump’s lawyers and the former president are arguing about.”

On Friday, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issued a press release rejecting Trump’s claims about Obama.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed sole legal and physical custody of the Obama Presidential Records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, pursuant to the Presidential Records Act (PRA). NARA has moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified documents to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are retained exclusively by NARA In addition, NARA maintains the classified Obama presidential archives at a NARA facility in the Washington, D.C. area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores his administration’s presidential records,” the statement said.

Trump and his attorneys argued that the then-president declassified the documents to be brought to Mar-a-Lago. While presidents have wide latitude to declassify information, there are specific federal regulations outlining a process for doing so. Some legal experts have speculated that some of the documents recovered by the FBI could have been classified in a way that does not allow a president to unilaterally declassify them.

Another Fox News host previously promoted the comparison between Obama and Trump ahead of Baier’s rebuttal of the claim.

“They’ve shipped 30 million pages of sensitive and possibly classified documents to Chicago, and by the way, they haven’t returned any of them to the National Archives yet. Not a single page,” the host said. of Fox News, Sean Hannity, during his Wednesday show. “So is his house about to be raided?”

NARA is looking for recordings

News first broke in early February that Trump had improperly brought classified documents to Mar-a-Lago, with NARA confirming it had searched for 15 boxes of documents. Trump did not deny the story at the time, saying it was a mix-up as his staff rushed him out of the White House.

After the boxes were returned to NARA, the collection raised further concern that the former president still had additional classified documents. Federal investigators began interviewing Trump staffers to determine what had been taken from the White House. The interviews and a broader investigation overseen by a U.S. attorney culminated in a grand jury subpoena against Trump in late May to produce specific documents.

After the documents were not turned over, the FBI and the Justice Department chose to take the unprecedented step of executing a search warrant against a former president. A federal judge, in due process, approved the warrant, finding that the FBI had demonstrated probable cause. The warrant, which was unsealed on Friday, said federal agents were looking for top secret (TS) and sensitive compartmented (SCI) information, as well as other classified documents.

Newsweek contacted Trump’s press office for comment.


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