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Mulvaney says he was unaware of Mar-a-Lago safe as Trump chief of staff

The Hill logo The Hill 8/11/2022 Caroline Vakil
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Former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on Thursday he was unaware that there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago in light of the FBI search of former President Trump’s Florida residence earlier this week.

Mulvaney said during an interview on CNN’s “New Day” that someone would have had to have been “really close” to the former president in order to have known there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago. 

“I didn’t even know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago, and I was the chief of staff for 15 months,” the former South Carolina congressman said.

“So this would be someone who was handling things on day-to-day, who knew where documents were. So it would be somebody very close inside the president. My guess is there’s probably six or eight people who have that kind of information,” said Mulvaney, who added he couldn’t offer names because he didn’t know people within Trump’s orbit nowadays. 


Video: ‘This is the sensitive stuff you don't want in wrong hands’: Ben Rhodes on Trump Mar-a-Lago docs (MSNBC)

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Mulvaney pointed out during the interview that Trump has the ability to release the FBI search warrant to indicate what documents officials sought, but he noted that the FBI could also release their affidavit that was used to obtain the documents. 

The former president announced Monday evening that FBI officials had conducted a “raid” at his Mar-a-Lago residence. An attorney representing Trump, Christina Bobb, has called the search an “overzealous hunt.”

The search was reportedly related to documents taken from Trump’s White House, including some that contained classified material.

Mulvaney also addressed Trump’s deposition with New York state Attorney General Letitia James (D), who has been investigating whether he illegally inflated, and later deflated, assets for financial gain. 

Mulvaney said it “made me smile” when he heard Trump had made use of his Fifth Amendment rights not to testify.

“I think the president learned a valuable lesson. Look, it’s easy for anybody, including the president of the United States, to watch people on TV, especially if you’ve already formed an opinion of them, and watch them take the Fifth and go, ‘That is an admission of guilt.’ And it’s easy for anybody to say that, it’s different when you’re the one sitting across the table from a prosecutor and looking at potential criminal charges,” he said on CNN. 

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