Donald Trump gave Sean Hannity an exclusive interview on Wednesday — naturally it’s one of many “exclusive” interviews he’s given to one of his best friends in media — and made a ludicrous and extremely false assertion that presidents can declassify government secrets “by thinking about it.”
During the conversation on his Fox News show, Hannity noted that the president of the United States has the authority to declassify documents and said, “you have said on Truth Social that you did declassify” the dozens of documents that were seized last month during the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago home.
“I did declassify,” Trump interjected.
“OK, is there a process? What is the process?” Hannity asked.
“There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it. You know there are different people say different things,” Trump said. “But as I understand, there doesn’t have to be. You’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying ‘it’s declassified,’ even by thinking about it. Because you sending it to Mar-a-Lago, or wherever you’re sending it, and there doesn’t have to be a process, there can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be.”
It goes on from there, including a ridiculous moment when Trump says “I declassified everything.”
But Trump’s assertion about the process of desclassifying documents containing government secrets — or the lack of process, as he claimed — has been widely discredited, including by members of his own administration. Read more about it here.
Hannity, a longtime Trump supporter, was a natural choice for the former president to vent about his mounting legal woes — including the $250 million civil fraud lawsuit filed Wednesday against him, three of his adult children and the Trump Organization on Wednesday.
So much so that Hannity was involved in a lot of secret conversations about Trump’s attempts to violently overturn the results of the 2020 election. (Hannity eventually advised against the actions that led to Jan. 6, after initially supporting them.)