Trump says he received “$5 billion” in “free publicity” from the Mar-a-Lago raid
Former President Donald Trump is rehashing claims he was politically assaulted in the FBI’s court-authorized Mar-a-Lago search, but has now added a twist by saying the seizure of classified documents from his home made him ” raised approximately $5 billion “worth of free publicity” by showcasing the South Florida resort.
Trump made the remarks in a speech Wednesday in Miami at the Hispanic Leadership Conference organized by America First Policy Institute. Trump used the event to revisit old grievances, particularly a federal investigation into whether he improperly handled government documents. Despite his earlier anger at the search, Trump said there were benefits to the investigation’s fallout.
The ex-president asked the crowd if they had heard of a “document scam” that he said helicopters flew over Mar-a-Lago, a National Historic Landmark in Palm Beach.
“Well, they gave us about $5 billion worth of free advertising. People said, ‘That’s a nice house.’ If it wasn’t so beautiful, they probably wouldn’t do it because it gets ratings,” Trump said while viewers laughed. “When they looked, they said, ‘This is a beautiful place.’ They ambushed and broke into my house.”
In addition to serving as a residence for Trump and his family, Mar-a-Lago also functions as a private club offering “the highest privileges” to its 500 members, who pay a $200,000 fee in addition to the $14,000 annual and an elite lifestyle” offers fees.
After his election as president in 2016, Trump refused to part with his real estate holdings and was accused of using the office to channel business to his hotels and Mar-a-Lago.
As the FBI conducted its search of Mar-a-Lago in August, Trump filed a civil suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) and successfully sought the appointment of a special master with the power to set aside all seized documents, which are private and personal protected by attorney-client privilege or board-level privilege.
An appeals court sided with the DOJ last month, allowing it continued access to more than 100 documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago that were marked as classified. The DOJ is seeking an expedited appeal to reverse the Special Master designation.
During the Miami speech, Trump again insisted he was being unfairly targeted.
“Everyone knows we did nothing wrong,” Trump said. “They are targeting me because they want to silence me, they want to silence you and they want to silence our amazing MAGA movement. There has never been a movement like this in the history of our country.”
Trump said other presidents have been more arbitrary with documents after leaving office. Trump claimed that “Barack Hussein Obama moved more than 20 truckloads … over 33 million pages of classified and unclassified papers into a poorly built and totally unsafe former furniture store with no security whatsoever.”
The National Archives and Records Administration previously issued a statement saying it retained “the legal and physical custody of the President’s records from Obama” after he left office.
PolitiFact, an impartial fact-checking agency at the Poynter Institute, and the Associated Press have found the claim false.
news week asked Trump for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-says-he-got-5-billion-free-publicity-mar-lago-raid-1749293 Trump says he received “$5 billion” in “free publicity” from the Mar-a-Lago raid