Trump shrugs off large number of his former Cabinet officials who don't want him reelected

Former President Donald Trump addressed some of the federal criminal charges against him in an interview Monday with Fox News anchor Bret Baier. Trump also clashed with Baier over his false 2020 election claims and insisted that for all the former top officials in his administration who oppose his reelection, there are more who "love" him.

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Baier pointed out that Trump claimed in 2016 he would surround himself with "only the best and most serious people," then noted that many of those people don't support his bid for a second term or actively warn against it. Trump's own vice president and United Nations ambassador are running against him, Baier noted. Neither of his defense secretaries or secretaries of state support him, and former Attorney General Bill Barr, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper have suggested Trump is a danger to national security.

Baier also read some insults Trump has fired off at Barr, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and other top officials in his administration. "So why did you hire all of them in the first place?" he asked. "For every one you say, I had 10 that love us," Trump responded, without offering names.

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Baier asked Trump about the 37-count indictment accusing him of willfully hoarding national security secrets and obstructing the government's demands to get them back. "Criminal defendants usually avoid speaking publicly about details of any charges in their case, for fear of their remarks being used against them," The New York Times noted.

But Trump acknowledged keeping classified documents after the National Archives asked for them back and after the government subpoenaed them, and he did not deny asking employees to falsely claim he had returned all the records. "Before I send boxes over, I have to take all of my things out," Trump told Baier. "These boxes were interspersed with all sorts of things," like "golf shirts, clothing, pants, shoes," and "I was very busy, as you've sort of seen."

Trump also claimed that despite prosecutors having audio of and perhaps witnesses to him showing off "secret," evidently classified Iran battle plans at his Bedminster club, he was just talking about a stack of "newspaper stories, magazine stories and articles."

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Trump's "answers on the matters of the law seem to me to verge on incoherent," Fox News chief political analyst Brit Hume said after the interview. "He seemed to be saying that the documents were really his and that he didn't give them back when he was requested to do when they were subpoenaed because, you know, he wasn't ready. ... It was not altogether clear what he was saying" about his right to classified documents, he added, but "I don't think it's going to hold up in court."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.