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National Archives counters Trump’s baseless claims about Obama records

EDGARTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 05: Barack Obama attends the premiere of Netflix's Descendant during the Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival at Harbor View Hotel on August 05, 2022 in Edgartown, Massachusetts. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Netflix)

The National Archives and Records Administration issued a statement Friday in an attempt to counter misstatements about former president Barack Obama’s presidential records after several days of misinformation that had been spread by former president Donald Trump and conservative commentators.

Since the FBI search of his Florida home and club this week for classified documents, Trump has asserted in social media posts that Obama “kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified” and that they were “taken to Chicago by President Obama.”

In its statement, NARA said that it obtained “exclusive legal and physical custody” of Obama’s records when he left office in 2017. It said that about 30 million pages of unclassified records were transferred to a NARA facility in the Chicago area and that they continue to be maintained “exclusively by NARA.”

Classified records from Obama are kept in a NARA facility in Washington, the statement said.

“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 statement said.

A list of items seized in the FBI’s search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home was unsealed on Aug. 12. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post)

Despite the official statement, Trump continued to peddle his false claims in light of The Washington Post report that classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of Trump’s Florida residence Monday, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Within minutes of the statement from the Archives, Trump again pushed his evidence-free claim in response to the latest reports, saying, “What are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

The Jan. 6 insurrection

Congressional hearings: The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held a series of high-profile hearings to share its findings with the U.S. public. What was likely to be the panel’s final public hearing has been postponed because of Hurricane Ian. Here’s a guide to the biggest hearing moments so far.

Will there be charges? The committee could make criminal referrals of former president Donald Trump over his role in the attack, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in an interview.

What we know about what Trump did on Jan. 6: New details emerged when Hutchinson testified before the committee and shared what she saw and heard on Jan. 6.

The riot: On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Five people died on that day or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.

Inside the siege: During the rampage, rioters came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the building while lawmakers were still there, including former vice president Mike Pence. The Washington Post examined text messages, photos and videos to create a video timeline of what happened on Jan. 6.

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