Some of the documents federal authorities recovered from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home this summer contained sensitive intelligence about China and Iran, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Washington Post.
Federal authorities seized around 11,000 documents from Trump’s personal residence and club in Florida this summer, including 103 documents bearing classified markings. According to Washington Post sources, at least one of the documents described Iran’s missile program while other documents describe unspecified “highly sensitive intelligence work” pertaining to China.
The Washington Post’s sources said these documents about Iran and China are considered among the most sensitive that FBI agents recovered from his home.
During his presidency, Trump began a so-called “trade war” with China. In that time, the administration imposed new sanctions on China in an effort to force China’s government into negotiating new trade arrangements with the U.S.
Trump did reach a tentative new trade deal with China in January of 2020, but Trump continued to clash with Chinese leaders after the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump has called for China to pay trillions of dollars in reparations to the U.S. for the damages caused by the virus outbreak. Trump’s administration also pursued new counter-spying efforts against China and labeled China’s treatment of its Uyghur population an act of genocide.
As president, Trump also ended the 2015-Iran nuclear deal, which saw member nations lift economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on Iran’s nuclear program. After backing out of the 2015 deal in May of 2018, Trump said he would pursue a new deal with more strict limits on Iran’s missile programs and which would curtail its support for proxy forces throughout the Middle East.
The Washington Post had previously reported, based on unnamed sources, that Trump had information about the military defenses and nuclear capabilities of a foreign government. China has nuclear weapons and Iran has a nuclear program that could eventually provide the country with its first nuclear weapons.
It’s not clear how many of the 103 documents with classified markings pertained to China and Iran and what kinds of information were contained in the other documents taken from Trump’s home.
Trump has repeatedly claimed he declassified all documents he took to Mar-a-Lago.