The contentious interview was Ohio Rep. Mike Turner’s second on CNN this week.
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) demanded to know Sunday whether the boxes former President Donald Trump allegedly brought to Mar-a-Lago were actually classified, arguing that only seeing the top secret documents would prove whether the FBI needed to raid Trump’s Sunshine State estate.
Not that Turner would ever need to worry, because he says he doesn’t take classified documents home.
“Do you take home documents marked special access?” CNN host Brianna Keilar asked Turner on CNN’s State of the Union.
“No,” Turner replied.
Such was often the case during Turner’s heated interview on Sunday, his second back-and-forth on the network in the last week. Throughout it, the GOP House Intelligence Committee member repeatedly decried the FBI and Justice Department’s decision to raid the former president’s home on Monday... while also admitting he would not have engaged in Trump’s alleged behavior.
Keilar pressed Turner on his double-standard approach as Turner employed some mental gymnastics to question whether the documents were even a national security threat to begin with. If they weren’t, he said, that wouldn’t justify an hourslong raid. But he admitted he did not know that to be the case.
“[The DOJ] had concern this could be a national security threat. When you cast doubt on that, do you have evidence that this was not a national security threat?” Keilar asked.
“We don’t have to speculate,” Turner said. “We have all the clearance. Congress has all the powers of oversight. All Attorney Garland has to do is comply with the laws, provide this information to us. Let us look. Show us the goods.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Keilar pressed Turner on his past condemnation of Hillary Clinton over her handling of classified information. She asked why he was not holding Trump to the same standard, to which Turner claimed Trump wasn’t engaged in any ongoing diplomacy due to the “static” nature of paper documents. Again, Keilar asked how Turner could claim that without evidence.
“How do you know they’re not ongoing? You haven’t been briefed on what you want to be briefed on,” she said. “How do you know that?”
Turner couldn’t answer. “Papers are static. They’re not ongoing data communications and transmissions of data, which is what was going through Clinton's server,” he said. “They did not raid her home. They raided his home.”
Turner did try to uplift some of the GOP’s party-line theories about the raid, including Trump’s claim that all of the documents were declassified solely because they came into his possession before he left office. He also suggested Garland—“whose own personal career was derailed on the way to the Supreme Court by Donald Trump himself”—might not have conducted the raid fairly since Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) held up his Supreme Court nomination six years ago.
Still, Turner admitted that he didn’t have the answers to back up the insinuations he was making. He instead called upon the Justice Department to defend the “intrusive” raid and provide the House Intelligence Committee with the documents.
“Show us the goods,” he said.