Here’s the complete guide to every excuse Republicans have made for Trump’s theft of classified documents
My oh my. It’s been less than a week since federal agents raided Donald Trump’s Florida beachhouse in search of classified documents that Trump stole from the White House, but Republicans have come up with a truly dizzying number of excuses and smokescreens trying to cover up his wrongdoing—often several each day. Honestly, it’s been somewhat hard to keep track of them all, especially as many contradict one another, but we’re here to help. Below, please find our day-by-day catalog of every b.s. pretext Trump’s defenders have tossed out there.
Excuse: Everyone is corrupt except Trump—says Trump himself.
\u201cBREAKING: Trump confirms, the FBI has raided Mar-a-Lago.\u201d— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1659999204
In fairness, if anyone can recognize vintage caudillo behavior, it would be Donald Trump.
Excuse: This warrant and raid business was uncalled for. Trump would have turned over everything had the government simply asked politely.
\u201c...The question is why a subpoena would not suffice, particularly when the subject is not present at the location. Instead, a raid was ordered to scope up boxes of potential sensitive documents that were not reviewable at the scene.\u201d— Jonathan Turley (@Jonathan Turley) 1660007056
Oh, wait, they did subpoena him? Nevermind!
Excuse: It’s totally fine that Trump took all of those documents. The only issue is that he racked up some library fines for failing to return overdue government secrets.
\u201cRep. Mike Turner speculates that the FBI may have raided Trump's residence simply because he "in effect checked out books too long from the archivist."\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1660073632
Since Trump has never borrowed a library book in his life, he probably doesn’t know the penalty for returning one after the due date, so he can probably be convinced it’s very serious, like they take away one of your golf courses.
Excuse: The FBI put it there!
\u201cTrump attorney Christina Bobb suggests that the FBI may have planted evidence in Mar-a-Lago\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1660075417
Trump watched the raid of one country club on closed-circuit television from his other country club, so of course he’ll be releasing the tapes of all this planted evidence (“P. Tapes” for short) immediately.
Excuse: This is all the fault of the Deep State FBI, headed up by ultra-liberal Christopher Wray.
\u201cThe FBI has a long history of corruption that\u2019s only grown over time - but these recent actions are the straw that broke the camel\u2019s back.\n\nIt\u2019s time for Congress to bring the swamp to heel.\u201d— Rep. Dan Bishop (@Rep. Dan Bishop) 1660152685
Reminder: Christopher Wray is a member of the Federalist Society and was appointed to his post by Donald Trump.
Excuse: #Whatabout Obama? Obama did it, too. He did it worse, in fact. Also, he’s a secret Muslim.
So true. As the National Archives explained, they maintain Obama’s classified materials “in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area” and noted that Obama “has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.” You can think of this facility as Obama’s version of Mar-a-Lago, albeit with a vibe that’s a bit more Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Excuse: LOL, like, the only thing that would justify this would be, I dunno, nuclear secrets.
\u201c"Short of the nuclear codes being written on these documents," said @DanaPerino earlier today, "I really don't understand how a document could warrant this kind of warrant."\u201d— Julia Ioffe (@Julia Ioffe) 1660264314
Narrator: It was nuclear secrets.
Excuse: They didn’t raid Trump quickly enough!
\u201cSo now they're saying Trump may have had our nation's most sensitive nuclear secrets - but they waited a year and half to go get them?\n\nWhat's next - that he's hiding nuclear missiles under his bed?\u201d— Monica Crowley (@Monica Crowley) 1660268214
Warrant was issued on a Friday, the seizure took place Monday. Everyone knows that most unlawful sharing of nuclear secrets happens on the weekend.
Excuse: Trump declassified all of this stuff with the power of his OWN MIND.
\u201cBold new legal frontiers being explored \u2014 declassification by the power of pure thought \n\nhttps://t.co/U63lbr86wR\u201d— Andrew Prokop (@Andrew Prokop) 1660269291
Just call him President Kreskin.
Excuse: Maybe it was aliens.
\u201cRep. Stewart: "Look at the premise of most of your questions. Was it nuclear? Was it, hey heck, maybe it was aliens."\u201d— The Republican Accountability Project (@The Republican Accountability Project) 1660313281
Excuse: But her emails!
\u201cMullin: Where\u2019s this same media frenzy when there was 33,000 classified emails on a server in a bathroom with Hillary Clinton?\u201d— Acyn (@Acyn) 1660313356
Damn, where was that frenzy?
Excuse: Oh, please, all you need is a smartphone to find the same nuclear secrets Trump took.
\u201cTurner: There are a number of things that are classified that fall under the umbrella of nuclear weapons but that are not necessarily things that are truly classified. Many of them you can find on your own phone\u201d— Acyn (@Acyn) 1660314599
Even, like, an iPhone 6 will do!
Excuse: Trump only took a tiny bit of super-duper-classified stuff, and don’t worry about all the other documents.
\u201cBret Baier says there was "only one box, one box, one set of documents that\u2019s listed various classified/TS/SCI," and while that's the "high stuff" it's "not like they have voluminous boxes of this most classified material." \n\nHe then goes on about Carter Page and the dossier.\u201d— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona) 1660330667
A standard bankers box holds some 2,500 pages, or around 1.2 million words. It’s a well-known fact that even the smallest nuclear secret needs at least 1.3 million words to describe it.
Excuse: My fellow Americans, when you are busy fomenting a violent coup to overturn the results of an election you’ve lost, it is quite simply inevitable that you will also steal classified secrets in the confusion of it all.
\u201cTurley: This was a very chaotic time - you had the January 6 riot, all the controversies, and then all these boxes being removed with the president. The ? is whether there was enough time to go through this process where you have to communicate with the IC to declassify material\u201d— Lis Power (@Lis Power) 1660330504
In fact, it should be noted, one crime simply cancels out the other. That’s how it works.
Excuse: They’re only investigating Trump because he might run for president again.
\u201cTrump\u2019s attorney says she has advised him that if he just says he won\u2019t run for president, all these investigations and charges will go away and be dropped.\u201d— Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1660345359
This is definitely how it works. And if Trump follows this advice but changes his mind and does decide to run after all, that’s just tough noogies for the feds.
Excuse: Trump was just trying to prevent World War III. I think this was more or less the plot of Sneakers: Too many secrets!
\u201cPeter Navarro says the documents Trump had should never have been classified in the first place, and Trump needed them to let the American people know what was in them so we can stay out of wars and get more jobs.\u201d— Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1660347573
After all, Donald the Dove, Hillary the Hawk, right, MoDo?
Excuse: Trump installed an Autodeclassifierbot 3000™ at the threshold of the Oval Office.
\u201cStatement from Trump Office: As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time\u2026 He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified..\u201d— Acyn (@Acyn) 1660353404
This is obviously why his attorneys signed a sworn statement telling the feds in June that all classified materials had been given back to the government—because there were none to return!
Excuse: Trump didn’t take those documents intentionally—the General Services Administration just stashed them in boxes that got moved to Mar-a-Lago when Trump exited D.C.
\u201cA person very close to Donald Trump tells me it's indeed true what's being bandied about Twitter -- that the @USGSA, not Trump or anyone working for him in the White House, packed the boxes that the FBI took in Monday's raid. If that's true, it scrambles the omelet a bit.\u201d— David Martosko (@David Martosko) 1660354625
Guess these guys never heard that warning at the airport about accepting items from strangers.
Excuse: This has happened to you: Your landlord gives you three months’ notice that you’ve got to move out, but you just don’t really believe them. Every week they keep telling you until, at long last, you finally realize they mean it, so of course your departure turns into a haphazard mess.
\u201c\u201cWhen it finally dawned on Donald Trump in the twilight of his presidency that he wouldn\u2019t be living in the White House for another four years, he had a problem: he had barely packed and had to move out quickly.\u201d https://t.co/V433ssXVAy\u201d— Ryan J. Reilly (@Ryan J. Reilly) 1660418574
Also, in this case, you live in the White House and your landlord is the people of the United States of America. Very relatable!
What excuses will the coming week bring? Stay tuned! The bullshit never ends.
P.S. We miss any? Lets us know in comments!
Note: This post has been updated with even more nonsense excuses!
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