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Biden says it was ‘irresponsible’ for Trump to keep classified documents at Mar-a-Lago

U.S. President Joe Biden says the discovery of top-secret documents at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate raised concerns that sensitive data was compromised and called it “irresponsible.”

Biden, who rarely does interviews, spoke to CBS program 60 Minutes in a segment that aired Sunday. He said that when he heard about classified documents taken from the White House, he wondered how “anyone could be that irresponsible.”

“And I thought, what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods?” Biden said.

The president said he did not get a heads-up before the Trump estate was searched, and he has not asked for any specifics “because I don’t want to get myself in the middle of whether or not the Justice Department should move or not move on certain actions they could take.”

The FBI says it took about 11,000 documents, including roughly 100 with classification markings found in a storage room and an office, while serving a court-authorized search warrant at the home on Aug. 8. Weeks after the search, Trump lawyers asked a judge to appoint a special master to conduct an independent review of the records.

This image contained in a court filing by the U.S. Department of Justice on Aug. 30, and partially obscured by the source, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of former U.S. president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (Department of Justice via The Associated Press)

The warrant says federal agents were investigating potential violations of three different federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting or losing defence information under the Espionage Act.

In the wide-ranging interview, the president wouldn’t commit to running for re-election in 2024, though he’s said in the past that he planned to.

“My intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again,” he said. “But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”

WATCH | U.S. democracy at stake in midterm, Democrats say: 

Democrats argue fate of U.S. democracy at stake in midterm elections

With the U.S. congressional midterm elections just two months away, Democrats are arguing democracy itself is now on the ballot. While President Joe Biden has called Donald Trump’s supporters a threat to democracy, Trump says the legal and political forces arrayed against him are lawless, sick, evil and divisive.

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