What Trump has said before about sharing classified information

He chided Clinton over classified information and supported FBI investigations.

August 9, 2022, 6:37 PM

Donald Trump and other top GOP leaders issued swift responses to the former president's announcement on Monday that his Mar-a-Lago Club was subject to an FBI raid, which appears to be focused on "many pages of classified documents" that Trump reportedly took with him upon leaving the White House.

Many Republicans rallied around Trump's unproven claims that the FBI's raid was political in nature, intended to "weaponize" bureaucratic agencies against Republicans and stunt his chances at throwing his hat back in the political ring.

PHOTO: Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, speaks as Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, gestures during the third presidential debate in Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016.
Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, speaks as Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, gestures during the third presidential debate in Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

"It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run in 2024," Trump wrote in his announcement of the Mar-a-Lago FBI raid on Monday night.

But Trump and his supporters haven't always been wary of the FBI response to the handling of classified information.

If the agency's investigation is proven true, Trump's holding onto presidential documents would mean he engaged in acts similar to that of his 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton when she was under the agency's probes for using a private email server as the secretary of state. He repeatedly called for investigations into her emails.

Trump supported the FBI investigation into Clinton as they were going on, and has continued to hammer Clinton for getting cleared of the charges by then-FBI Director James Comey in 2016.

Similarly, many of the Republicans upset with the FBI raid also supported the agency's investigations into Clinton in 2016.

"We are a nation of laws, and those laws should be applied equally to all Americans, regardless of their political connections," said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., after the FBI reopened its investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server.

"Today's decision by the FBI to reopen this case is a critical step toward ensuring that elites like Secretary Clinton are held accountable by the same laws that apply to every other American," Scalise said in a statement in 2016.

Here are a number of Trump's past public statements about the handling of classified information, much of which linked to the FBI's probe into Clinton's use of a private email server as she served under President Barack Obama.

July 6, 2016:

Trump tweeted, "Crooked Hillary Clinton and her team 'were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.' Not fit!"

Aug. 16, 2016:

At a campaign event in West Bend, Wisconsin, Trump said, "We've seen a former secretary of state lie to Congress about her illegal email scheme, risk innocent American lives and bring dishonor onto our government, great, great dishonor."

"In my administration, I'm going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information," he went on.

PHOTO: Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump holds a rally at Giant Center, Nov. 4, 2016, in Hershey, Pa.
Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump holds a rally at Giant Center, Nov. 4, 2016, in Hershey, Pa.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

Aug. 18, 2016:

At a campaign event in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump said, "On political corruption, we are going to restore honor to our government. In my administration, I'm going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law."

Sept. 7, 2016:

At a campaign event in Philadelphia, Trump said, "One of the first things we must do is to enforce all classification rules and to enforce all laws relating to the handling of classified information."

"Hillary Clinton put her emails on a secret server nobody knew about except for the man that was giving the Fifth, remember? What ever happened to him? Where is he? What happened to him? Where did he go? He pled the Fifth. Never heard - that's the end of him…She put her emails on a secret server to cover up her pay-for- play scandal in the State Department," he added.

"Nothing threatens the integrity of our democracy more than when government officials put their public office up for sale," Trump said.

Sept. 19, 2016:

At a campaign event in Fort Meyers, Florida, Trump said, “We also need the best protection of classified information. That is the worst situation. Hillary's private email scandal, which put our classified information in the reach of our enemies, disqualifies her from the presidency. Totally."

Oct. 17, 2016:

Trump tweeted, "Wikileaks proves even the Clinton campaign knew Crooked, mishandled classified info, but no one gets charged? RIGGED!"

–ABC News' Chris Donovan and Benjamin Siegel have contributed to this report.

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