Donald Trump won’t have you believing for a second that the FBI busted down his door and found a pile of classified documents strewn across the floor, as if he were preparing an entry for his Burn Book. Instead of protecting himself against further incrimination or addressing the new picture proof that he was hoarding classified materials at his Florida home, Trump simply cannot move past the messy floor papers.
The optics-obsessed president spent the last 48 hours offering multiple different explanations for why the documents were on the floor (which is where FBI agents placed them to take evidence photos). While claiming he had telepathically declassified all the records pictured, Trump scolded the FBI for throwing “documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending it was me that did it!).” By Thursday morning, Trump came close to admitting he knew the classified materials were at the resort — all for the sake of clearing up any “confusion” about his pig pen office.
“They dropped them, not me – Very deceiving…”
Trump is known for his use of props – often fake, like bloated crowd sizes – to up the drama of his message du jour. The problem with the FBI pulling documents out of a box and placing them on the ground to snap a pic is not that it makes him look even more guilty of hoarding classified documents than he already seemed. It’s that they beat him at his own game – a game that only Trump is playing.
Here’s an inexhaustive rundown of all the times Trump was caught using fake props to project bigly-ness.
Nicole Lafond (@Nicole_Lafond)
is TPM’s associate editor, based in New York. She has also worked as the special projects editor and as a senior newswriter for TPM. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously covered education in central Illinois.