Ex-FBI official says Trump’s nuclear information came at a high ‘price’
- Former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi has a theory about why Trump kept top secret nuclear files.
- Figliuzzi said these files were of “greatest value” to interested foreign powers and their enemies.
- He said countries would give “their right arm” to find out what the United States knows about its defenses.
A former FBI official says former President Donald Trump may have wanted to keep top secret documents about a foreign power because of the astronomical price that country – or its adversaries – could pay for such information.
Frank Figliuzzi, former deputy director of the FBI, was questioned by the Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC host Wednesday why Trump would have wanted to keep top-secret documents about a foreign country’s nuclear program at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida home. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Trump had such documents at his house.
In response, Figliuzzi postulated that the high price of these documents would make them attractive assets.
“If I was asked what could be the highest price or the highest value on what kind of classified US government information, one of my first answers would definitely be: nuclear-related information,” a- he declared.
He added that this information has “potentially the greatest value” if one tries to “market it and capitalize” on the possession of such files.
“Well, first of all, a country would give its right arm to find out what the United States knew about its nuclear program and capabilities, not just for the obvious reason of ‘Hey, they figured that out’, but also because it would signal that we don’t know their program,” Figliuzzi said.
“Second, let’s move on to the adversary of this country. They would give their left and right arms to know what their adversary is doing in terms of nuclear capability,” he added.
Besides the value of the information, Figliuzzi noted that the files were at Mar-a-Lago, which Figliuzzi said had “one of the weakest security you could imagine”, with foreign nationals “entering and leaving “.
A representative for Trump’s post-presidential office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Figliuzzi is not the first FBI official to speculate that foreign nationals may have attempted to gain access to Mar-a-Lago.
Former FBI official Peter Strzok – who has a bitter history with Trump – said in August that “any competent foreign intelligence agency” would have tried to gain access to the former president’s Florida residence. Strzok cited Russia, China, Iran and Cuba as countries where the agents could have come from.
Figliuzzi is also not alone in speculating that Trump may have tried to sell such classified data.
In August, Charles Leerhsen – an author who wrote one of Trump’s books – said the former president may have taken White House documents to sell as presidential memorabilia. Separately, Fox News host Eric Shawn asked on a show if Trump tried to “sell or share” these top secret files “to the Russians” or the “Saudi people.”
During the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago last month, agents seized 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked “top secret”. Some of the documents may have related to nuclear weapons, The Washington Post reported.
According to the search warrant, the Justice Department is investigating whether Trump violated any of three federal laws — including the Espionage Act — by keeping the documents at his Florida residence.
Last month, Trump dismissed the idea that there were nuclear documents in his possession.