The 9 Dumbest Defenses for Trump Keeping Nuclear Secrets at Mar-a-Lago

The 9 Dumbest Defenses for Trump Keeping Nuclear Secrets at Mar-a-Lago

Fox News pundits even argued Donald Trump just likes to keep souvenirs.

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Former president Donald Trump leaves CIA headquarters on January 21, 2017 with the so-called “nuclear football,” a briefcase with the ability to instantly launch a nuclear strike on anywhere in the world.
Former president Donald Trump leaves CIA headquarters on January 21, 2017 with the so-called “nuclear football,” a briefcase with the ability to instantly launch a nuclear strike on anywhere in the world.
Photo: Olivier Doulier (Getty Images)

Former president Donald J. Trump, a continued threat to the safety and security of the United States, had his home in Florida raided by the FBI over classified documents on Monday. And we now know those documents at Mar-a-Lago likely contained highly classified secrets about nuclear weapons, according to the Washington Post. Who’s willing to defend that? A shocking number of Trump supporters, as it turns out.

The arguments defending Trump have evolved in the short time since the FBI served a search warrant on the former president’s property while he was out of town on Monday. At first, Republicans said the Department of Justice had been politicized and this was clearly a dirty way to keep Trump from running for office in 2024. Some MAGA diehards even called for a new civil war.

Astoundingly, there were even multiple people who said raiding a former president for anything short of nuclear secrets would be a travesty. Well, guess what? It looks like it was about nuclear secrets, at least in part. And as we learned on Thursday, Trump has likely kept some of the most highly classified documents the U.S. government produces—designated SAP, or special access programs, which are above Top Secret.

We don’t know the entire contents of the other 12 or so boxes the FBI took from Mar-a-Lago on Monday and Trump has apparently said he’s fine with the contents of the search warrant being revealed. But we’ll have to see what Trump’s lawyers actually do. Trump has a history of publicly arguing one thing while his lawyers do something else.

Click through for some of the dumbest possible defenses of Trump’s actions. And let us know in the comments if you’ve spotted other gems. The internet is a large and idiotic place—we can’t find every dumb MAGA rationalization when they’re flying around this fast and furious.

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Taking documents out of the White House automatically declassifies them...

Taking documents out of the White House automatically declassifies them...

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Screenshot: Twitter

Mike Davis, a Republican activist who bills himself online as the former Chief Counsel for Nominations at the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, claims that Trump can declassify anything he wants and simply taking them out of the White House declassified the documents in his possession.

“Before Attorney General Merrick Garland’s spin: The President of the United States has both the constitutional (and statutory) power to declassify anything he wants. If President Trump left the White House with classified records, they are declassified by his actions. Period,” Davis tweeted.

But that’s simply not true.

While presidents have broad authority to declassify just about anything, it’s not clear Trump ever actually declassified the documents in his possession. If he had, it’s unlikely the National Archives would be so desperate to get their hands on them. Taking them out of the White House doesn’t automatically declassify them.

And while presidents can declassify just about anything, nuclear secrets still require more than a single president to declassify, according to legal experts who spoke with MSNBC last night.

“There’s an entire another law that comes into play here. It’s called the Atomic Energy Act. It has its own classification regime and Donald Trump could not declassify those records on his own,” said Bradley Moss, a national defense lawyer.

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Trump is a memento guy...

Trump is a memento guy...

Image for article titled The 9 Dumbest Defenses for Trump Keeping Nuclear Secrets at Mar-a-Lago
Screenshot: Fox News

Jesse Waters had one of the dumbest defenses of Trump’s mishandling of classified documents on Thursday. What if he just wanted some souvenirs?

“You know, Trump’s a memento guy. You’ve seen inside his office. There is a lot of clutter, memorabilia. Trump’s team thought they’d given him everything they asked for, but the next thing you know, 30 guys show up with guns and want to look in Melania’s closet,” Fox News talking head Jesse Waters said on his show Thursday.

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Maybe the classified documents aren’t that secret...

Maybe the classified documents aren’t that secret...

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Screenshot: Twitter

Geoffrey Ingersoll, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Caller, floated the idea that maybe the classified documents about nukes weren’t actually that important.

“Anyone who’s familiar with what the scope of ‘nuclear documents’ is should be skeptical when these unnamed officials refuse to get more specific than ‘nuclear documents’,” Ingersoll tweeted on Thursday.

“It could be a memo about China’s tests with fusion (which were public knowledge), it could be since declassified sub locations. It almost certainly was not detailed schematics for American snukes [sic] or something wild like that. It’s clearly just a hit or there’d be details,” Ingersoll continued.

What an amazing rationalization. Do you think Ingersoll, whose website has published plenty of literal Nazis over the years, would bend over backwards with his reasoning if former president Barack Obama had kept nuclear documents at his home?

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Maybe Trump thought they were declassified...

Maybe Trump thought they were declassified...

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Screenshot: Twitter

Ari Fleischer, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, just couldn’t wrap his head around why Trump would have classified documents in the basement of Mar-a-Lago. And he came up with a lot of imaginary excuses for Trump, none of which mentioned that the former president simply sees himself above the law.

“One thing I can’t wrap my arms around: If Trump had classified documents, why didn’t he give them back? Maybe he thought they were declassified. Maybe he thought it was government overreach. But if, for whatever reason, you have a classified document at home, you give it back,” Fleischer tweeted.

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They couldn’t have been important if the FBI waited so long to get them...

They couldn’t have been important if the FBI waited so long to get them...

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Screenshot: Twitter

Michael Tracey, a pro-Trump online influencer who’s perhaps best known for getting his ass beat by Rep. Maxine Waters, parroted a common defense on Thursday, insisting that if the documents really had

“Leaks to WaPo now claim ‘documents relating to nuclear weapons’ were ‘sought’ at Mar-a-Lago. No word on whether they were recovered. Taking this story at face value, the DOJ decided to wait a year and a half before tracking down the USA’s most closely guarded nuclear secrets?” Tracey tweeted.

The answer, of course, is that the National Archives did ask for them a long time ago, but Trump only handed over just 15 of the roughly 27 boxes earlier this year, according to the Washington Post.

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These are just newspaper clippings and photos...

These are just newspaper clippings and photos...

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Screenshot: Twitter / Fox News/ The Recount

Lara Trump took to Fox News on Thursday to make an argument very similar to the one Jesse Waters made.

“We don’t even know that Donald Trump did anything wrong. These are like clippings from newspapers. These are photographs. These are documents that he’s allowed to take from the White House,” Lara Trump said.

Everything else aside, why is she blinking so much in this clip?

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Actually, it’s all about January 6th...

Actually, it’s all about January 6th...

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Screenshot: Twitter

Erick Erickson, a radio host in Georgia who’s perhaps most famous for shooting the New York Times with a gun,

“Personal theory: They used classified documents as the excuse to search, but were really looking for January 6 related materials. They didn’t find them. So they’re now pushing back claiming it really was the classified docs all along,” Erickson tweeted on Thursday.

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It’s all blown out of proportion...

It’s all blown out of proportion...

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Screenshot: Twitter

Dave Gainor, a commentator for Fox News, thinks the FBI is making a mountain out of a molehill.

“By Monday, the New York Times will be running a story about how Trump had the Ark of the Covenant,” Gainor tweeted.

Get it? It’s all a big joke. Nothing matters. And if you don’t get the joke, you’re just a lying Democrat idiot.

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The FBI and the Department of Justice just want to murder Trump...

The FBI and the Department of Justice just want to murder Trump...

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Screenshot: Twitter / Fox News/ The Recount

Sen. John Kennedy from Louisiana made incendiary comments on Fox News, alleging that the FBI and Department of Justice were simply out to kill the former president.

“The FBI and the Department of Justice are going to give Trump a fair and impartial firing squad,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy was probably joking, at least in part, but how many Trump supporters know that or even care? Not many, we’d guess, given the current trajectory of Trump’s most loyal wingnuts.

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