National Archives Calls Trump Claims 'False and Misleading' Former President Donald Trump (Getty Images)
By Nicole Wells | Tuesday, 11 October 2022 05:09 PM EDT
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) weighed in on former President Donald Trump's claims about the way other former presidents have handled documents, calling Trump's statements "false and misleading."
According to the Washington Examiner, Trump claimed during a rally in Nevada on Saturday night that several of his predecessors, including former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, stored documents similarly to how he did at Mar-a-Lago.
"When will they investigate and prosecute Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, and look into what took place with George Bush's father?" Trump asked. "And what about Barack Hussein Obama?"
On Tuesday, the National Archives pushed back against the 45th president's assertions.
"Reports that indicate or imply that those Presidential records were in the possession of the former Presidents or their representatives after they left office, or that the records were housed in substandard conditions, are false and misleading," the agency said in a statement.
Trump told the Nevada crowd that other former presidents stored presidential documents in insecure locations after they left office.
"Barack Hussein Obama moved more than 20 truckloads, over 33 million pages of documents, both classified and unclassified, to a poorly built and unsafe former furniture store located in a bad neighborhood in Chicago. With no security, by the way," Trump said, according to the Examiner.
The former president also claimed George H.W. Bush kept documents in a bowling alley.
"George H.W. Bush took millions of documents to a former bowling alley and a former Chinese restaurant where they combined them," Trump reportedly said at the rally. "So, they're in a bowling alley/Chinese restaurant."
Daniel Dale, a senior reporter for CNN, tweeted that Trump's statement was a "dishonest claim."
"The truth: *the National Archives* sorted Bush docs for his library in a heavily secured facility (patrols, cameras, sensors) that happened to be a former alley/restaurant," Dale wrote. "As with Obama docs the Archives took to Chicago, Bush didn't take them himself."
While the archives did not mention Trump by name, it emphasized that the records of the predecessors he named during the rally were securely handled within its custody.
"NARA securely moved these records to temporary facilities that NARA leased from the General Services Administration (GSA), near the locations of the future Presidential Libraries that former Presidents built for NARA," the agency said. "All such temporary facilities met strict archival and security standards, and have been managed and staffed exclusively by NARA employees."
Trump took thousands of pages of documents to his Palm Beach home Mar-a-Lago after leaving office. In January, the National Archives removed 15 boxes from the estate and found classified materials, which caused the Department of Justice (DOJ) to open an investigation.
NBC reported that after Justice Department officials were given a statement certifying that Trump was no longer in possession of classified material, the FBI determined it was untrue.
On Aug. 8, a phalanx of FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago and seized more than 103 documents with classification markings, according to court documents.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that a president can declassify documents "even by thinking about it."
Court filings show that the DOJ is considering potential charges such as obstruction of justice and violations of the Espionage Act.