Donald Trump’s entire world came crashing down this week, when the FBI executed a search warrant raid against his Mar-a-Lago compound in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday evening. While the details were sparse in the direct aftermath of the raid, a leaked copy of the search warrant document has since confirmed the widely-help theory among insiders and experts — the raid was ultimately in relation to Donald Trump’s decision to pack an immeasurable amount of classified, top-secret, and federally protected documents with him to his new Palm Beach home after leaving the White House; some of which reports have since revealed were in relation to nuclear weapons.
As the details of the search warrant and the potential charges against the ex-president become available, many former insiders are beginning to speak out with more new details about the inner workings of Donald Trump’s presidency as well.
The corrupt former president made a bad reputation for himself throughout his administration for being difficult if not impossible to brief and has since been credibly accused of often destroying meeting notes in various manners, such as ripping them up and even flushing the papers down the toilet. But according to former members of Trump’s staff, the now ex-president apparently took a different approach when it came to certain documents that were handed to him, often asking officials, “Can I keep this?”
Throughout his presidential term, Trump’s vehement reluctance to sit for and properly participate in the Presidential Daily Briefing was extensively documented. Ted Gistaro, who served as the first presidential briefer of Trump’s term, once told CBS News that Donald Trump “doesn’t really read anything.” Additionally, numerous intelligence officers have described number 45 as “far and away the most difficult” new president to brief. Trump made the Presidential Daily Briefing so difficult to complete, in fact, that The Guardian once reported they were typically just given to Vice President Mike Pence.
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Ultimately, Gistaro’s successor, Beth Sanner, was forced to put together one-page outlines and colorful graphics in a desperate attempt to keep the then-president’s attention long enough to even complete a briefing, according to a recount from former CIA officer John Helgerson’s book, “Getting to Know the President.” When he did actually participate in the meetings and briefings, he had a well-documented habit of destroying the notes.
But according to former Trump White House insiders, the then-president would often take a different approach when it came to certain documents, often asking officials if he could keep the papers he was given.
Former Trump Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s Erin Burnett this week, on the heels of the Mar-a-Lago raid, “From time to time, the president would say ‘Can I keep this?'” Mulvaney went on to add that the White House had “entire teams” that were dedicated solely to preserving official documents.
Mulvaney ultimately stopped short of drawing a clear and direct line between Donald Trump’s seemingly random decision to ask to keep certain documents and the bombshell raid on his Palm Beach resort/home. However, Mulvaney’s claims coincidently stand in uncanny similarity to those recently made by former Trump-era National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Speaking to CBS News recently, Bolton said, “Often the president would say [to intelligence briefers] ‘Well, can I keep this?’ And in my experience, the intelligence briefers most often would say ‘Well, sir, we’d prefer to take that back,’ but sometimes they forgot.”
Frankly, you’ll never convince me that Donald Trump did know exactly what he was going to do the entire time he infiltrated the People’s House.
Featured image via screen capture