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Responding to FBI research, Trump and his allies return to his familiar strategy: flood the area with nonsense.

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Using his familiar style of simple questioning to promote conspiracy theories, Trump posted on his social media platform on Wednesday a suggestion that the FBI may have planted evidence. His legal team had previously suggested the same. A Trump attorney, Alina Habba, said on Fox on Tuesday, “I’m afraid they planted something; you know, at this point, who knows?” Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky echoed that question on Wednesday, wondering on Fox how we know “they won’t put things in those boxes to trap him.” Fox host Jesse Watters went further Tuesday, saying the FBI was “probably” producing evidence, and Paul’s campaign embraced “probably” Friday.

There’s just no basis for any of this.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida offered another baseless conspiracy theory about federal malfeasance, telling Fox on Tuesday that he didn’t think they were looking for documents at all, but was probably using it as a ” excuse” to root around Trump. Mar-a-Lago residence for “everything they could find”. Rubio’s comments were at least more plausible than the hogwash offered Tuesday by Anna Perez, host of the right-wing outlet Real America’s Voice, who delivered a QAnon-style monologue, falsely claiming the search was a plot to keep Trump out of trouble. carry out a (non-existent) plan to expose criminals serving the government.

No more deception

Another Real America’s Voice host, right-wing activist Charlie Kirk, claimed on Thursday that the FBI “occupied Trump’s house — a military occupation.” While it is strange to describe the execution of a search warrant as an “occupation” of any kind, it is totally false to claim that the military was involved in this search. The former president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, delivered an impressive variety of one-sentence claptrap, telling Fox Tuesday that the researchers were “a bunch of people who broke into your house like this and taken whatever they wanted for themselves.” A source told CNN that the FBI gave the Secret Service about an hour’s notice before the search and that the Secret Service met with the FBI agents at their arrived and had ensured that they had unimpeded access. And a search warrant does not allow searchers to take “anything they want”, certainly not “for themselves”; the Justice Department asked a court to unseal a document listing what was taken, and Trump agreed. Go rogue.” There’s no sign that an agent has gone rogue. Even Trump-friendly Fox host Steve Doocy challenged Scalise, noting that the agents were simply executing a search warrant. Scalise went on to cited an inaccurate report that Attorney General Merrick Garland was unaware of the search, falsely claiming that Garland himself said he was unaware of it (Later Thursday, Garland said that he personally approved of the decision to seek the search warrant.)

Whataboutism about Democrats

As usual, Trump and his defenders tried to do whataboutism — pointing fingers, dishonestly, at leading Democrats. Trump baselessly suggested that former President Barack Obama mishandled presidential records after leaving office, Trump said, by keeping more than 30 million documents, many of them classified, and taking them to Chicago. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released a statement on Friday explaining that it has “sole legal and physical custody” of the Obama-era archives, which NARA itself moved about 30 million pages of documents. unclassified to one of its own facilities in Chicago. area, that classified Obama-era records are kept at a separate NARA facility near Washington, and that “former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores records presidents of his administration”. Trump and some of his media advocates went back to his old chestnut about how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was allowed to “acid clean” emails, a fabrication loosely based on the fact that e-mail deletion software is called BleachBit; Fox’s Watters was particularly literal, falsely claiming on Tuesday that Clinton had “poured acid” on the emails. Trump also suggested there was something suspicious about the fact that, he said, his attorneys were not allowed to attend the search, posting on his social media platform on Wednesday: “Why did they STRONGLY insist that no one was watching them, everyone outside?” But there’s nothing unusual about that; lawyers are not allowed to be in the room to supervise a search. For good measure, Trump’s attorney, Christina Bobb, released a transparent misrepresentation about Trump’s popularity. She told Right Side Broadcasting Network on Tuesday that the Justice Department was trying to find a simple way to prosecute “the most popular, and probably the most famous, president in American history.” Trump’s average Gallup approval rating during his tenure, 41%, was by far the lowest of any president since Gallup began measuring presidential approval in 1938.

CNN’s Whitney Wild contributed to this article.

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