Trump says a president can declassify a document by 'thinking about it'

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally to support Republican candidates running for state and federal offices in the state at the Covelli Centre on September 17, 2022 in Youngstown, Ohio.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally to support Republican candidates running for state and federal offices in the state at the Covelli Centre on September 17, 2022 in Youngstown, Ohio. Photo credit Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump joined Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday night to discuss the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, amongst other things. During the interview, Trump shared that a president can declassify documents by "thinking about it."

"Different people say different things, but as I understand it, if you're the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it's declassified, even by thinking about it," Trump said to Hannity.

He continued his train of thought, saying there doesn't have to be a process for declassifying documents because they were being sent to Mar-a-Lago.

"There can be a process, but there doesn't have to be," Trump said. "You're the president – you make that decision."

Approximately 100 documents marked classified were found at Trump's Florida home when the FBI executed its search warrant at the beginning of August. According to some reports, certain documents had nuclear weapons information, The Washington Post reported.

Raymond Dearie, the judge reviewing Trump's case, shared with his lawyers this week that they have to start providing evidence the former president declassified the documents in question. If not, he said he would assume they were not, the Guardian reported.

"I guess my view of it is, you can't have your cake and eat it," Dearie said.

Trump stands by his claims that the documents he took with him when he left the White House in January 2021 were not classified, telling Hannity that "when I left the White House, they were declassified."