Aug 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Mick Mulvaney says he saw Trump rip documents in half

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told "CNN Tonight" on Friday he saw former President Trump rip up nonclassified documents during his time in the White House.

Why it matters: Trump's handling of documents has come under scrutiny after the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago, which is part of the DOJ's investigation into Trump's handling of presidential records.

  • The unsealed inventory pertaining to the search revealed that FBI agents removed 11 sets of classified information from Mar-a-Lago, including "Various classified/TS/SCI documents" — referring to documents containing "top secret" or "sensitive compartmented information," write Axios' Erin Doherty and Alayna Treene.

What they're saying: "That's the serious stuff. That's top secret and compartmentalized information," Mulvaney said of the materials marked TS/SCI.

  • "It's really hard to sort of understand how it gets there in the first place. These things are not sort of accidentally moved anywhere. These documents are marked. They are clearly known to folks to be TS/SCI and there are supposed to be folks, sort of, tracking where they are," he added.
  • "It concerns me but I'm not sure it's enough to justify a search warrant."

What they're saying: Mulvaney said Trump was "pretty good" at handling classified material, but added that "Trump was an informal guy. There's no question about that."

  • Mulvaney added that "there was a system in place" to protect materials regardless of how Trump chose to behave.
  • "I saw the president rip documents in half. Not confidential documents, but just draft documents. You're not supposed to do that, but there's a way to fix it," Mulvaney went on to say.
  • "Which is you just find the pieces and you just tape them together."
  • "I used to rip up documents in the private sector all the time. It's not an indication of ill intent," he said.
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