Former Trump officials say he could have taken classified files for ‘leverage’

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  • Two former aides to Trump have said he could have taken classified documents as political “leverage”.
  • Last month, the FBI seized more than 11 sets of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago.
  • Officers found more than 10,000 government documents on the estate, including more than 100 classified documents.

Two aides to former President Donald Trump have said he could have taken the classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago resort as “leverage” for future political aspirations.

“I think the DOJ has an obligation at some point to make sense of it, without revealing, of course, what’s in these classified documents, but these 18 top secret documents, even the subject matter, because I think, knowing the former president, we have to kind of think about why he does things and his motivations behind things,” Alyssa Farah Griffin, the former White House communications director, said. to CNN’s Dana Bash during a panel on Sunday.

Griffin added: “And we have to keep leverage in mind. Is it something he is withholding to help his future political ambitions? Or is it just that he took classified documents without the know, was warned, did not return them, and there was no motive or intention to do so?”

Bash responded by asking Stephanie Grisham, another former White House communications director, “What do you think is the most likely response to what Alyssa just asked, especially when you see that this classified information has apparently been just put together with random press clippings, clothes, gifts?”

Grisham said “leverage” was the most likely reason Trump took the documents.

“So my thinking is, like Alyssa said earlier, I think it’s kind of leverage. I think – I believe some of the things he just felt were cool. And I believe really thinks he owns it, which of course he doesn’t,” Grisham said. “So – and, also, the fact that he hasn’t returned things when asked over and over again over the course of a year. So, I think there’s something behind that.”

Last month, the FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents from the property of former President Donald Trump, some of which were marked as “top secret” and may have related to nuclear weapons. In a court filing on Friday, the Justice Department released the most detailed inventory of documents seized from Trump’s estate.

FBI agents found more than 10,000 government documents on the estate, including more than 100 classified documents.

The classified documents were found mixed in with other random items, including news clippings, which Grisham said “track perfectly” with how Trump classified information during his tenure.

“That’s exactly what his filing system was. It was just boxes of stuff randomly placed together,” Grisham said. “When I saw the photo, however, and I saw the sheer volume of classified material, and now we’re hearing that some might be missing, I just don’t know how that amount could be put in those boxes and not not to be seen and not to be noticed.”

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