Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump declared that he had declassified all documents related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election — but now his own chief of staff is saying under oath that isn’t true.
On October 6th, the president claimed on Twitter that “all Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago,” and then added that “Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our Country.”
In a follow-up tweet, the president similarly wrote, “I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax.”
For good measure, the president also insisted on “no redactions.”
This claim of declassification inspired BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold to file a Freedom of Information Act to get access to those documents.
However, as USA Today reporter Brad Heath reveals, Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows submitted a reply to Leopold’s request indicating that those documents have not been declassified.
“The President indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders and to not require the declassification of any particular documents,” Meadows said in a filing with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.