The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released a statement on Friday roundly debunking former President Donald Trump’s allegation that former President Barack Obama improperly handled classified records.
Trump has made the allegation multiple times but repeated it yet again on Friday morning in a statement. “President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” Trump wrote in an email release via his Save America PAC.
The NARA hit back and offered the facts surrounding the documents Obama, like all ex-presidents, took to be placed in his presidential library.
“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the statement began, adding:
NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.
Trump’s accusation regarding Obama stems from the FBI raiding his Florida mansion on Monday in search of classified material Trump allegedly took with him when leaving the White House.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday morning on the contents of what the FBI took during the search. “FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to be only available in special government facilities,” the Journal reported after reviewing official documentation.
The National Archives retrieved materials improperly taken by Trump back in January. The items included “personal letters and gifts Mr. Trump had received, including correspondence with Kim Jong-un and a congratulatory letter that former President Barack Obama left for Mr. Trump,” reported the New York Times.
“These records should have been transferred to NARA from the White House at the end of the Trump administration in January 2021,” the National Archives said in a statement at the time.
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