Jun 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump on why he didn't return classified documents: "I was very busy"

Former President Trump in Columbus, Georgia, earlier this month.

Former President Trump in Columbus, Georgia, earlier this month. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Former President Trump in his first interview since being indicted in Miami last week on federal charges fiercely defended on Monday taking classified documents with him to his Mar-a-Lago resort after leaving the White House.

Driving the news: Fox News' Bret Baier asked Trump why he didn't hand over the boxes containing classified materials to the National Archives and Records Administration. "I wanted to go through the boxes and get all of my personal things out," he replied.

  • "I don't want to hand that over to NARA yet," Trump added. "And I was very busy, as you’ve sort of seen."

The big picture: Trump pleaded not guilty in a Miami court last week to 37 criminal charges related to retaining classified information and obstruction of justice.

Of note: Baier noted that the federal indictment alleges Trump told an aide to move the boxes of classified documents to other locations after telling his lawyers to say he'd fully complied with the subpoena when he hadn't.

  • "Before I send boxes over, I have to take all of my things out," Trump said. "These boxes were interspersed with all sorts of things — golf shirts, clothing, pants, shoes, there were many things."

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