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Top Senate Republican doubts Trump can declassify documents ‘by thinking about it’

Jon Barasso (R-WY), who is the chair of the Senate Republican Conference. said during an interview with ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday said he doesn’t believe Trump’s claim that a president can declassify materials “by thinking about it” is accurate.

During the interview, the host of “This Week” George Stephanopoulos, Barrasso, started off a little cagey about answering any questions in relation to the classified documents found at Mar-A-Lago.

“I’ve not heard that one before. … I don’t know what – anything about the rules for when a president declassifies documents and information,” Barrasso said, before stating that the Justice Department should share more information about what he dubbed a “raid” at the former president’s home.

When pressed, Barrasso acknowledged that it was difficult to defend Trump’s claim.

“I don’t think a president can declassify documents by saying so, by thinking about it,” Barrasso said.

Barrasso went on to say that he had “never seen anything like that before,” referring to the FBI raid on Trump’s home, adding that the Bureau has “become political.”

Stephanopoulos continued on this path of questioning by saying: “You know that a president can’t declassify documents by thinking about it. Why can’t you say so?”

Barrasso, said that he wasn’t completely familiar in the rules of presidential declassification and would prefer to see a full briefing from the Justice of Department.

“I don’t think a president can declassify documents by saying so, by thinking about it,” Barrasso conceded.

Former President Donald Trump claimed in an interview last week that “you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified, even by thinking about it.”

“There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘It’s declassified.’ Even by thinking about it.”

“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,” Trump added. “I declassified everything.”

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