Former President Donald Trump Friday dismissed as a “hoax” a report that the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago mansion in a hunt for documents containing nuclear weapons secrets.
The bombshell claim was reported by The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, just hours after Attorney General Merrick Garland said he had personally signed off on the search warrant executed Monday at Trump’s Florida home.
“Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax, two Impeachments were a Hoax, the Mueller investigation was a Hoax, and much more,” Trump posted on Truth Social Friday morning. “Same sleazy people involved. Why wouldn’t the FBI allow the inspection of areas at Mar-a-Lago with our lawyer’s [sic], or others, present. Made them wait outside in the heat, wouldn’t let them get even close – said “ABSOLUTELY NOT.” Planting information anyone? Reminds me of a Christofer [sic] Steele Dossier!”
So 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?
What's next – that he's hiding nuclear missiles under his bed?
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) August 12, 2022
The Washington Post’s report did not offer details on whether the alleged documents were about U.S. nuclear weapons or those of a foreign nation, and they did not disclose what was recovered during the search.
“If that is true, it would suggest that material residing unlawfully at Mar-a-Lago may have been classified at the highest classification level,” said David Laufman, the former chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section, which investigates leaks of classified information. “If the FBI and the Department of Justice believed there were top secret materials still at Mar-a-Lago, that would lend itself to greater ‘hair-on-fire’ motivation to recover that material as quickly as possible.”
Garland said during a press conference Thursday afternoon that he personally approved the search and that the Justice Department was moving to unseal the warrant. However, the probable cause affidavit sworn by DOJ lawyers may not be made public and the warrant itself is likely to contain redactions.
“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland later added. “Second, the Department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
Trump responded to Garland’s remarks by saying that the FBI raid was not needed because his legal team had been cooperating with the Justice Department.
Ryan Saavedra contributed to this report.