Donald Trump is a man who is not unfamiliar with conspiracy theories.
After all, this is a guy who suggested that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And who, having lost the Iowa caucuses in 2016, hinted that the result was rigged. And who, of course, has perpetuated the notion that the 2020 election was stolen from him – all claims without a shred of evidence.
So, when you say that something may be the oddest or most outlandish conspiracy theory that Trump has pushed, well, you are really saying something.
And yet, something Trump said in a rollicking interview Wednesday night with Fox News’ Sean Hannity is so out there that it’s hard to even understand what he is talking about.
Let’s start with what he said. Here’s the exchange between Hannity and Trump (bolding is mine):
Hannity: Is there a process – what was your process to declassify?
Trump: There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it. You know, there’s – different people say different things, but as I understand there doesn’t have to be.
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 to 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. We – I declassified everything.
Now, I declassified things, and we were having a lot of problems with NARA. You know, NARA is a radical left group of people running that thing, and when you send documents over there, I would say there’s a very good chance that a lot of those documents will never be seen again.
There’s also a lot of speculation because of what they did, the severity of the FBI coming and raiding Mar-a-Lago. Were they looking for the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted, but they are around someplace?
Trump can’t be suggesting that, somehow, the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago property last month was not, in fact aimed at retrieving documents marked classified that he took from his time in the White House, but was designed to find emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server as secretary of State.
Except, that – I think – he is.
“A lot of people said the only thing that would give the kind of severity that they showed by actually coming in and raiding with many, many people, is the Hillary Clinton deal, the Russia, Russia, Russia stuff or – I mean, there are a number of things,” Trump added. “They’re spying on Trump’s campaign, so they spied on my campaign.”
OK, so let’s walk through the, er, logic here.
1. Trump believes that the search on Mar-a-Lago was very aggressive.
2. Because it was so aggressive, Trump believes that the FBI was not actually after just the materials he kept after leaving the White House.
3. Therefore, the FBI could have been looking for Clinton’s emails.
You may have noticed a massive logical leap from between points 2 and 3 there. Like, why would the deleted emails from Clinton’s private email server be at Mar-a-Lago? And, if they were, why would Donald Trump not know that they were there? But, again, why would they be there?!?!
Trump didn’t offer any explanation for this wild theory. And Hannity didn’t press him. ” All right, so let me go – you mentioned Russia a number of times, let’s talk about that,” was his follow-up.
What was Trump talking about? Honestly I have no idea. And I am not sure he does either. What he usually does in these comfortable settings is just talk and talk and talk – often without any real rhyme or reason.
Given that, the most likely conclusion is that Trump just threw something against the wall, without thinking about it before – or after. But, man. Wild.