Marc Short, a former top adviser to Mike Pence, calls Trump’s claim that presidents can declassify documents on their minds “absurd.”

Marc Short, a former top adviser to Mike Pence, calls Trump’s claim that presidents can declassify documents on their minds “absurd.”

Marc Short, a senior adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, called former President Trump’s claim that presidents can declassify documents just by thinking about it “absurd.”

Short made the comments in an interview with CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge, after Trump told Fox News presenter Sean Hannity this week that presidents can declassify documents “even thinking about it.” Herridge asked Short if he shared that understanding of how declassification works.

“That’s absurd, obviously,” Short replied. “And I think it would be very difficult for the intelligence community to have a classification system if that were the case.”

When asked if he and Pence operated under that standard, Short replied, “Of course not.”

Federal investigators are reviewing the dozens of documents with classification marks seized at Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago home last month.

“There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it,” Trump said of Hannity’s declassification. “You know, there are different people saying different things, but from what I understand, there doesn’t have to be. If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify it just by saying it’s declassified, even thinking about it because you’re sending it to Mar -a-Lago or wherever you’re sending it. And there doesn’t have to be a process. There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be. The President: You make that decision. So when you send it, it’s declassified. I declassified everything.” .

Presidents have broad authority to declassify records, but there is a process that is normally followed. Usually a president instructions for declassifying documents they are first written down in a memorandum, usually drawn up by White House lawyers, which the president would then sign. The relevant agencies are then usually consulted and when a final decision is made, the agency in question would mark the document, with its old classification level crossed out and stamped, “Declassified on X date”.

Short also touched on the possibility of a Pence presidential bid in 2024. For now, he said the former vice president’s focus is to tour the country to make sure conservatives win House, Senate and gubernatorial races from coast to coast. . Pence has a leadership PAC focused on electing conservative candidates and a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization focused on promoting conservative values. Pence will likely make a decision on whether he will run for office next year, Short said.

“The last six weeks he seems to be traveling around the country these last 45 days, and I think he’s been doing it for the last few weeks,” Short said, adding that “he’s going to do a lot of House races, governor races And I think that’s where his focus is going to be.”

“And I think again, sometime next year, he’s going to figure out where he thinks he’s going to be called to serve next,” Short said. “And if that’s the case that he feels like that’s where he’s being called, then I think he’ll make an announcement at that time. But right now, his focus is on the midterm election cycle.”

Asked if this is an environment where Republicans can break through in November, Short replied, “Absolutely.” He praised House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans for announcing his agenda on Friday. He tells voters, “If you elect us, this is what we’re going to do to help turn the tide at the border. This is what we’re going to do to help turn the trajectory of our economy right now,” Short said.

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