The View host Whoopi Goldberg on Monday attempted to make excuses for President Biden, who is currently caught in a classified-documents scandal, suggesting that he might have declassified the records when he was vice president.
The panel was talking about a series of recent incidents in which sensitive documents were illegally found on Biden’s property. Among the unauthorized locations where they were found were a think tank’s office in Washington, D.C., and Biden’s Wilmington, Del., house, including in his garage.
“George Bush made it so presidents could declassify, Obama stretched it to make it vice presidents. I wish they would say all that while they’re explaining what’s going on because if you say ‘classified document,’ everybody goes ‘oh my God!! How dare he keep that?’” Goldberg said on the show.
She implied that Biden might have already preemptively declassified the documents that were eventually transported to his home, as well as to the think tank in Washington where the first batch was found, meaning he wouldn’t have broken the law.
“And if these guys can declassify — presidents and vice presidents can declassify — are we chasing our tail with some of this?” she asked.
Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin chimed in that a double standard can’t be applied to Biden and Trump, who made the unsubstantiated claim that he declassified some of the documents uncovered during the raid at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
“For Biden to be able to declassify something, there has to be evidence that he did in fact declassify it, which is the thing Trump’s trying to argue,” Griffin said. Trump has so far been unable to prove he declassified the documents.
Goldberg retorted that Trump said he did so “with his mind,” hinting that Biden might have taken more intentional precautions, even though he’s publicly said no such thing, Griffin added. Trump said in September following the FBI’s sudden search of his Florida home that presidents can declassify documents just by “thinking about it.”
In recent comments to the press, Biden has noted that he was not aware of the whereabouts of the documents or their contents, saying he has nothing to hide and that “there’s nothing there.”
“I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. That’s exactly what we’re doing; there’s no there there,” Biden said.
On November 2, a set of classified records from Biden’s vice-presidential term were first found by Biden’s attorneys, according to a statement they gave, at the Penn Biden Center, which served as Biden’s private office from 2017 to 2019. The White House counsel’s office then searched Biden’s homes in Delaware last week and discovered two additional sets of secret papers. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel — Robert K. Hur — to investigate Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.
“What I’m frustrated by is how brazen and dismissive President Biden has been of this, because he said, ‘Anyone can be irresponsible, but I have no regrets and there’s no there there, but it was locked up next to my corvette.’ This as you said is a serious matter,” Griffin added.