Outlining the process for viewing sensitive information while she served as secretary of state, Ms Clinton said on ABC’s The View that “there were times when I was secretary of state that literally a military courier would come into my office”.
“It would be an emergency, there wouldn't be time to get to the White House and have a meeting in what's called a SCIF, a secured facility,” she said. “So usually a man, it was always a man, as I remember, walked in, he would have like a briefcase locked to his wrist. And he would come into my office and he would say ‘you have to look at this immediately, secretary’.”
“He would unlock the briefcase, he would stand there, he would give me this document that had really delicate, secret information about something of importance,” Ms Clinton added. “I would read it, then I would sign that I had read it, it would go back into the locked box attached to his wrist and off he would go.”
“So I don't understand how these documents ended up where they are. I don't understand how he was permitted to take them even to the [White House] residence, let alone to a country club in Florida. I don't understand it,” she said.
"I don't understand how he was permitted to take them."
— Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton on "The View" contrasts Donald Trump having classified documents at Mar-a-Lago to a military courier having "a briefcase locked to his wrist" so she could view classified documents pic.twitter.com/1FqzQAokJu
— The Recount (@therecount) September 8, 2022
The FBI seized files detailing the nuclear capabilities of a foreign country when its agents executed a search warrant at Mr Trump’s Florida residence last month, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The paper quoted sources saying that the documents were so secret that only the president, some members of his Cabinet or near-Cabinet level officials would be allowed to authorise other government officials to see them.
The Post said that the papers included information about the nuclear defence readiness of a foreign country, but did not say which one.
The implications of such documents — which are classified at some of the highest levels possible — being held at a private residence where concerns have been raised about the organisation and security of their keeping cannot be overstated. The allegation suggested a reason why US intelligence agencies would need to conduct an assessment of any risks to national security in the wake of the FBI raid.
If accurate, the report also shreds any defence by Mr Trump and his allies claiming that the documents seized by the FBI were harmless and solely intended for his use in a memoir, presidential library or other projects.