Trump repeats false claim Obama mishandled ‘33 million pages’ of official papers

Donald Trump has falsely accused his predecessor Barack Obama of moving “33 million pages” of official documents to a “totally unsafe former furniture store” after demitting the Oval Office.

The former president also railed against US federal agencies probing his handling of sensitive government records in a speech at the Hispanic Leadership Conference organised by the America First Policy Insititute in Miami, Florida on Wednesday.

Using the event to attack his opponents, the former president claimed the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago estate is being used to “unjustly, illegally and unconstitutionally” target him as he called the federal investigation a “hoax”.

“So how do we know this document hoax is indeed a hoax or a charade?” he began. “Just look at how every other president has been treated when they left office. They’ve been given all the time needed and complete deference to their documents and their papers,” he said, claiming “no other president has been targeted” like him.

“Barack Hussein Obama moved more than 20 truckloads over 33 million pages of papers classified and unclassified to a poorly built and totally unsafe former furniture store with no security whatsoever,” he claimed, without showing evidence.

The National Archive and Records Administration (Nara) had previously debunked the claims, which Mr Trump has repeated often, saying it “assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records” when he left office in 2017.

“Nara moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a Nara facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by Nara,” it said in a statement issued on 12 August 2022.

“Additionally, Nara maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a Nara facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the [Presidential Records Act], former President Obama has no control over where and how Nara stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

The country’s national record keeper issued a statement again on 8 September debunking claims about the missing records from the Obama administration.

“Some news outlets and individuals on social media are mistakenly reporting that the National Archives and Records Administration (Nara) confirmed that a large number of boxes of Presidential records are missing from the Barack Obama administration. This is false,” it said.

“Nara has never issued any such statement and is not aware of any missing boxes of Presidential records from the Obama administration.”

During his speech, Mr Trump demanded to know whether there was an investigation into the handling of documents by the George Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

The one-time president also issued another attack at Hillary Clinton, saying she “should have perhaps been charged”, without elaborating further.

The president had earlier bizarrely claimed the FBI was looking for Ms Clinton’s emails at Mar-a-Lago during their search.

“The document hoax is just that. It’s a hoax and a charade and am being unjustly, illegally, and unconstitutionally being targeted. It is a violation of the 4th amendment, you know,” Mr Trump said at the conference.