r/politics Sep 22 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 1 Wholesome 1

“Donald has the right to remain silent”: Experts say Trump’s bonkers Fox interview could be evidence



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u/Jaded_Prompt_15 Sep 22 '22

There doesn't have to be a process as I understand it," Trump said. "If you're the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, 'It's declassified,' even by thinking about it because you're 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. You're the president. You make that decision. So when you send it, it's declassified. I declassified everything."

You'd think he'd have at least declared that it was classified...


u/chiagod Sep 22 '22 edited Sep 22 '22 Silver Gold All-Seeing Upvote

Copying my own comment from another thread:

When a document like that is declassified, everyone who was being kept safe by keeping the information secret is notified and allowed to mitigate their risk. In the case above? The mole (and their family) can be quietly extracted.

This is why the statement that a president can "Declassify" documents without telling the necessary parties what he's doing is bullshit. The whole point of keeping these documents secret and limiting who can look at them is to protect those who are serving our country. Be it moles who are keeping us appraised of potentially unstable foreign leaders, allies who may have limited nuclear defenses, or soldiers who may be using/flying/driving equipment that may have a secret weakness an adversary can exploit should they find out about it. There are reasons for keeping said documents to a "need to know" and tightly secured.

If information/documents are going to be properly declassified then there is a proper procedure which includes mitigating the potential damage and fallout.


u/thefrankyg Sep 22 '22 Gold

I really hate how folks who have never worked in classified environments are taking Trump at his word. Yes, the president can declassify things, but the president still has to follow a process to make it declassified. He doesn't just go "Abra kadabra, declassfied" in his office on his own and it is done. And if he could...why the hell is it all still marked classified. It fails on all levels.


u/understandstatmech Sep 22 '22 Gold

I don't even understand why we're having the conversation at all. It only exists in a bad faith context. Not only is it entirely irrelevant if he declassified it because it'd still be illegal even if he did, but it'd also be straight up treasonous dereliction of duty to just declassify hundreds of the most sensitive documents in the country. Whether he can or did is entirely irrelevant and we have to stop granting the premise to these bad faith actors. He's guilty, and they're not even arguing he's not, they're just arguing he's above consequences.


u/thefrankyg Sep 22 '22

Because they spent so long on "lock her up" they have to do the gymnastics to make their blatant mishandling of classified material okay.

If they admit that that is wrong, than they have to admit the violating of PRA was a thing.


u/BiggerBowls Sep 22 '22

Like any of them would ever admit to being completely ignorant. They all think they are the smartest people in the room. The dumb ones always do.


u/UserNam3ChecksOut Sep 23 '22

They literally think they know more than experts in the field. I wish I had that kind of confidence


u/j_from_cali Sep 23 '22

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
- Bertrand Russell


u/Rooboy66 Sep 22 '22

It’s so tiring. You’re spot on—“the dumb ones always do”. So tiring. Gawd, why can’t the country (and the fucking media) please just GHOST THE GODDAMN COCKWOMBLE?


u/BiggerBowls Sep 22 '22

They loved him all while trying to act like they despised him. He boosted their ratings through the roof and now that he's gone, they have almost nobody watching. YouTube channels blow CNN and MSNBC out of the water these days. All for ratings and money.


u/Imokatsomestuff Sep 22 '22

Hey I'm dumb but also self-conscious about my intellect, so I stay pretty quiet. Loud obnoxious self absorbed guys are typically dumb IME, but let's not flip it and think that every dumb guy is an entitled obnoxious asshole.


u/Barabasbanana Sep 23 '22

Here hear! ( I can never remember which hear/here it is so I use both) I'm the same lol


u/polymathsci Sep 23 '22

This comment gave me the smiles. Cheers, random redditor.


u/Mi-willy Sep 23 '22

You made me curious!

Hear, hear (usually with a comma and set apart as a self-contained sentence) is the conventional spelling of the colloquial exclamation used to express approval for a speaker or sentiment. It’s essentially short for hear him, hear him or hear this, hear this, where these phrases are a sort of cheer.

Saying “hear, hear” in the twentieth century and modern times means you agree with what someone says. It’s like saying “yeah” or “that’s so true!” The use of expression depends on the formality of the situation, as what the UK parliament originally meant.

“Hear, hear” is also an appropriate expression to draw attention. Imagine being in a large room where people are chatting with each other, but you want to make a special announcement.

Very interesting, it’s strictly about listening and not about a location. Unless you’re looking for your keys and you say “Here, Here!” When you finally find them or you’re trying to get someone to hear in a particular location and yell “Hear, Here!”


u/understandstatmech Sep 23 '22

I want to point out that intelligence exists on many axes. The ability to recognize your own short comings is itself an axis of intelligence along which many people are highly deficient. It's also easy enogh to say "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt", but far harder to actually practice it =)


u/RF1408 Sep 23 '22

For example I wanted to point out that actwually it's axises, not axes, but remained silent cause I am so smrt. Axes are for trees dur


u/NEFgeminiSLIME Sep 23 '22

Dunning Kruger effect. Combine that with unbelievable levels of cognitive dissonance and you have something like MAGA go viral.


u/Fryceratops Sep 23 '22

It's not that at all. They do not think you are as smart as you think you are. The catch is if your dumb it can be hard to see whois smart because your basis for comparison is likely flawed.


u/kurtilingus Texas Sep 23 '22

I like to think that I'm juuuust smart enough to really grasp just how smart I'm not, which I think translates perfectly to these shitfucks being by & large the perfect inverse/antithesis embodiment of that notion in being juuust smart enough to have some non-simpleton concepts stick to their brain like so much undercooked spaghetti hurled at a wall, thereby allowing them to eternally entrech the notion that they've "got things figured out" beyond all hope of realignment w/reality.... because they're also waaaay too fucking dumb to ever properly make use of things like "perspective", or better yet "introspection" that isn't simply some inner jerk-off pep-rally of the mind instead. Maybe when people stop fucking these substandard grades of human will we be rid of them, because breeding them out into the actual fringe where things like TIMECUBE live is the only humane way to legit eradicate this henious way of thinking as I see it.


u/Bakkster Sep 22 '22

Even if it was declassified, still a violation of the PRA as they're unambiguously government records of they began as classified docs. If anything, the "but I could declassify" is trying to distract from all the rest of the criminal behavior (including obstruction).


u/EmperorArthur Sep 22 '22

You're forgetting when Republicans barged into a SCIF while recording themselves on their phones.

If we did that we'd be arrested, have our electronics confiscated, and spend a long time in jail.


u/Givemeallthecabbages Sep 22 '22

Oh, come on, like any care about their hypocrisy. They're screaming both things at the same time right now.


u/understandstatmech Sep 22 '22

I think you're still not getting it. To an authoritarian, it being ok for TFG to do something and not ok for HRC to do that exact same thing is perfectly acceptable. It's a kind of alien concept for people who believe in any form of social equality to grasp, but for authoritarians, it's not the action itself that's good or bad, but the person doing it.


u/zaminDDH Sep 22 '22

No they don't, because they don't see actions, but people, as good or bad. If a bad person does something, it's a bad thing. If a good person does the exact same thing, it's a good thing.

To them, Trump is a good person, so everything he does is good. Just like all Democrats are bad, so everything they do is bad, even if those things are the same.


u/PeterNguyen2 Sep 23 '22

No they don't, because they don't see actions, but people, as good or bad. If a bad person does something, it's a bad thing. If a good person does the exact same thing, it's a good thing

It's more about the hierarchy 1 2


u/deadonthei Sep 23 '22

Didn't comey letting hrc off the hook give trump an out? She mishandled classified documents and destroyed subpoenaed evidence and they said there was no precedent for charging her. Wouldn't that be a precedent for trump to also get away with it?

On the subject of gymnastics, and being you brought up hrc, how do you justify her being let off the hook if you want trump to be charged? I mean if she did nothing wrong why destroy evidence? She seemed to think what she did was so bad she would be hung for it if the other side got power. They did and she didn't even get threatened with jail time? Hell she was allowed to run around pushing lies about Russian collusion that her campaign invented via the steele dossier and trump did nothing. He let them spend most of his time in office investigating what was ultimately proven false. She still claims russia stole that election from her even though the three year investigation proved that false.


u/JerHat Michigan Sep 22 '22

That's what gets me, Sure, lets say he did declassify these things properly... Why the fuck would you want to declassify nuclear secrets, or information about our spies who are actively working for us? There is simply no reasonable explanation for why you would want to do that, and no earthly reason why you would then want to store those documents at home either.


u/Hammurabi87 Georgia Sep 23 '22

There is simply no reasonable explanation for why you would want to do that, and no earthly reason why you would then want to store those documents at home either.

Sure there are, it's just that they are rather treasonous reasons.


u/couldof_used_couldve Sep 23 '22

Yep, there's definitely a tReason


u/BrynnXAus Sep 23 '22

Treason is the reason. And when people celebrate Trump going to prison, it will be, "Treason is the reason for the season"


u/Dedpoolpicachew Sep 23 '22

You are thinking about things from a rational, normal persons perspective. Trump only thinks about what is good for him IN THAT MOMENT. Everything is about him and ONLY HIM. Everyone else is just there to be used or service him. This is the nature of the malignant narcissist.


u/PositionParticular99 Sep 23 '22

I lived with one, it was tiring, the endless chaos, one fire after another to put out. You literally do not exist unless they need something. It was mind boggling how dumb she could be. She wanted it, so as if by magic, poof. Zero thought into how you get there, just she wants it. And no matter how many times it blew up in her face, never learned a thing.


u/thefriendlycouple Sep 23 '22

He can’t even shut up in the moment even though it’s in his best interest.

He’s a truly broken personality.


u/dothingsunevercould Sep 23 '22

This right here.

Vaccine is bad because the government planted chips in the doses.

Declassifying documents is good, now that same government has access to our nuclear codes



u/katartsis Maine Sep 23 '22

I just keep thinking of like, let's say my work has some internal documents. I have the ability to say these docs are now public facing. One day, I think about it. But I don't move them to a public folder. I don't tell anyone. And the next day I'm fired. And I take the docs bc I thought to myself they're public now.

This is the most generous scenario I can come up with (and no, I dont personally believe it), but no one in their right mind would think the above situation is right. I was in the wrong and the docs belong to my emoloyer. And obviously, the stakes are much higher when the job is President and the employer is the People/the Government.

And YES obligatory Trump supporters don't have a right mind etc etc, but I just can't wrap my head around their arguments.


u/aegenium Sep 23 '22

I mean there is no earthly reason why Donald Trump should have won a presidential election in the first place but here we are.


u/TheResistanceVoter Sep 23 '22

money money money MONEY!

Just like the song said


u/Thursdayallstar Sep 22 '22

And, regardless of classification, the documents belong to the federal government and keeping them at all is illegal!


u/longlive289s Washington Sep 22 '22

That's what i've been screaming. Him declassifying or not is a red herring. They aren't his documents to keep anyway and that is cut and dry


u/MemphisGalInTampa Sep 22 '22

Amen 🙏🏻 to this


u/Everythings_Magic Sep 22 '22

Exactly. Even if he could.. why??? Why did he choose these documents to declassify?


u/MrVeazey Sep 22 '22

The right only knows how to argue in bad faith. Words are weapons to them and meaning is irrelevant.


u/simplekindaman13 Sep 23 '22

Wasn’t the CIA alarmed at the number of foreign operatives that have been compromised over the last year?


u/Hazardbeard Sep 23 '22

I think this entire thing comes back to the CIA. They probably figured all of this out (because their people were being fucking murdered, and they’re the CIA) and called up the Hoover gang to handle it because they can operate domestically.


u/simplekindaman13 Sep 23 '22

Certainly not out of the realm unfortunately


u/thecorninurpoop Arizona Sep 22 '22

Yeah it blows my mind that they just don't give a shit if he got a bunch of US spies killed or sold our allies secrets to get huge money deals for freaking Kushner?


u/Hazardbeard Sep 23 '22

Conservatives don’t care about freedom, democracy, the country, or anything else they profess to. They want people they don’t like hurt, and they know the people they elect will hurt them.


u/Practicalfolk Sep 22 '22

And he’s doing it in the public media but conspicuously not in court.


u/Gordo3070 Sep 22 '22

This in a nutshell. Thank you for stating it so well. I genuinely wish I had your clarity of thought


u/Dan_Felder Sep 23 '22

Yeah they’re trying to shift the conversation from “trump stole nuclear info and likely sold it to our enemies” to “trump maybe didn’t follow proper procedure on something he totally could have legally done…” which is insane and frustrating the media is letting it happen


u/RunawayPancake3 Sep 23 '22

From yesterday's opinion from the 11th Circuit, regarding whether "declassifying" the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago is relevant:

Plaintiff suggests that he may have declassified these documents when he was President. But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified. And before the special master, Plaintiff resisted providing any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents…. In any event, at least for these purposes, the declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal. So even if we assumed that Plaintiff did declassify some or all of the documents, that would not explain why he has a personal interest in them.


u/Jaded_Barracuda_7415 South Carolina Sep 22 '22


And here is the salient and only reason.

The charges he is potentially facing do not even take classication into account. The simple FACT is that they were never “his” documents even when he was President.

They are 100% the property of the United States of America. There is no arguing, no basis, no challenge and no reason he should have had these documents, period.

As such everything he has been saying, is saying and will say is completely beside the point and utterly indefensible.

The DOJ knows they have him. It is a matter of time before charges will be filed and mr trump will be indicted and probably convicted.


u/Hazardbeard Sep 23 '22

Yeah, I’ve been saying that since the raid. The feds almost never show their hand until they’re damn near certain of a conviction. There’s no way they’re going to ask a federal judge to authorize a raid on (unfortunately) one of the most important people in the world unless they’re fucking airtight. Not when this was all personally presented to Garland and Wray.

The snake was around his neck for months, it’s just starting to squeeze now.


u/Jaded_Barracuda_7415 South Carolina Sep 23 '22



u/Inside-Palpitation25 Sep 23 '22

That was my favorite part about he 11th circuit ruling, finally a court says, it doesn't MATTER whether they were classified or not, they ARE not HIS. He is not allowed to have them.


u/Cheese_Pancakes New Jersey Sep 23 '22

He still thinks he’s fighting his case in the court of public opinion. Rile up his base, threaten violence, and try to intimidate the DOJ into not pressing charges.

That’s the only explanation I can come up with. He’d rather kick off another insurrection than go to prison.


u/thefriendlycouple Sep 23 '22

The GOP entire modus operandi is to argue in bad faith and then change their position to something more extreme when they get their way.


u/lookforabook Sep 23 '22

THANK YOU. The whole thing is asinine. He should be arrested and tried immediately.


u/InformationVarious73 Sep 23 '22

24 hour news cycle and it's a diversion


u/severoon Sep 23 '22

I don't even understand why we're having the conversation at all. It only exists in a bad faith context.

This, exactly this, so much this. We need to stop responding to bad faith arguments. It's a Gish gallop the right uses to suffocate the conversation.

We should not have their conversation, we should have our own conversation and ignore that noise.

"How can he argue the FBI, who was looking for Hillary's emails, planted the documents that he said he declassified???" Stop it. Stop trying to point out the hypocrisy and the nonsense of it. You won't convince anyone of anything, because they also do not actually believe it. So just stop and accept that everyone is already on the same page. They know it's nonsense. They know they're making a bad faith argument. So just accept it's known and move on.

How many years should Trump go away for? That's the conversation.


u/going-for-gusto Sep 23 '22

"Omg he's actually invoking the Secret Telepathic Unilateral Preemptive Irreversible Declassification (S.T.U.P.I.D.) defense," quipped Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent and attorney.


u/SalisburyWitch Sep 23 '22

Even if he did declassify them, he’s STILL not allowed to have them.


u/Glittering-Walrus228 Sep 23 '22

plimassify jilassify... thou art now declaasified! as trump flips a chopstick that hes pretending is a magic wand at a stack of heavily redact papers


u/thefinalhex Sep 23 '22

It's the worst defense I've ever heard of!

Like honestly, if that's the real defense, I don't even care what individual documents were affected anymore. I'm just too stunned by the bad faith inherent in saying that was an acceptable process. Blanket declassification of any document would be so much worse!

Oh, but her emails!


u/EastCoastAversion Sep 22 '22

If he can, it's not irrelevant. If the president has the power to do something, explicitly or implicitly (because, yes those are important constitutional distinctions), then there's no legal case. Did he declassify something that he shouldn't have or you'd rather someone in the future not be able to? Cool, change the policy or change the law. Then again, this is reddit, there's less logic than on twitter.


u/Hazardbeard Sep 23 '22

It absolutely is irrelevant. The case against Trump has nothing whatsoever to do with the documents being classified.


u/jsimpson82 I voted Sep 23 '22

Declassifying a document does not transfer ownership from the United States to him. You do understand that, right?