In an interview that was broadcast on Sunday, U.S. President Joe Biden said that his predecessor Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents was “totally irresponsible,” but that he is staying out of the investigation probe.
Biden said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” show that he wondered “how anyone can be that irresponsible” after seeing the classified documents seized during an FBI raid of Trump’s Florida home at Mar-a-Lago on August 8.
“I thought, what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods? And by that, I mean, names of people who help etc., and it’s just totally irresponsible.”
The remarks broke with Biden’s pattern of refraining from speaking on the criminal investigation the Justice Department is conducting into his former political rival for allegedly taking ultra-sensitive material to his home after his office expired in January 2021.
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In the 2020 presidential election, Democrat Biden beat Republican Trump. Trump, who has considered running for government again, has characterized the court-ordered search as politically motivated.
According to Biden, he wasn’t given a classified briefing on what was in those documents.
“I have not asked for the specifics of those documents because I don’t want to get myself in the middle of whether or not the Justice Department should move or not move on certain actions they can take,” Biden said. “I agreed I would not tell them what to do and not, in fact, engage in telling them how to prosecute or not.”
The Justice Department has stated that it is looking into Trump’s removal of White House records because it thinks he illegally had some of the most closely-guarded national security information in America, including documents involving secret human sources and intelligence gathering.
The question of whether disclosing the material contained in those documents posed dangers to national security is also being looked into by Biden’s intelligence chief.