CNN debunks right-wing media's false claims about FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago

CNN correspondent Tom Foreman: “The bottom line is there was nothing different about this. ... For Trump world to claim that this was something else is just a flat-out lie top to bottom.”

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Citation From the May 22, 2024, edition of CNN's Inside Politics with Dana Bash

DANA BASH (ANCHOR): We do want to now turn to fact-check some, frankly, very dangerous accusations that are ricocheting through the conservative media echo chamber. Donald Trump is accusing President Biden of trying to, quote, “take me out." Yes, you heard that right: assassinate him. Now this is a fundraising text sent last night from the Trump campaign. “DOJ was authorized to shoot me. They were locked and loaded for deadly force at Mar-a-Lago." He's basing that on documents released yesterday about the search of Mar-a-Lago, documents taken wildly out of context by Trump and many of his allies.


BASH: We want to bring in Tom Foreman to help fact check these claims. Tom, we don't often give oxygen to things that are just wildly exaggerated. But in this case, I think -- we all think, including you, it is important to fact-check and set the record straight. So, go for it. 

TOM FOREMAN (CNN CORRESPONDENT): Yeah, this is extremely, extremely important. If you are in MAGA world, or you know anybody in MAGA world, it's important to understand right now what you just heard from those people is absolute poppycock. It is absolutely not true.

Nonetheless, Donald Trump is trying to raise funds off of it. He's got a post out there right now that goes on and on about how much he feels that people should be donating money to him because they were trying to take him out. He put out a Truth Social post in which he said, “The FBI was authorized to use deadly, lethal, force. Now, we know for sure that Joe Biden is a serious threat to democracy." This was his response to all of this.

And what has them so exercised? What has them going on with all these ridiculous claims, and they are ridiculous? Standard protocol for police agencies, not just the FBI.

The judge said, yes, as part of this order, you see everything included, including the standard police procedure, which is to say FBI agents should have their weapons with them in case something happens. They should have handcuffs with them in case something happens. 

Remember, when they went in on this raid, they were wearing like normal polo shirts. They weren't wearing flak vests with FBI on it. That was also part of the order, because they didn't want to create a big spectacle around this. But agents have to be ready in case something crazy happens out there. That's all this is about.

The bottom line is there was nothing different about this, and the FBI said itself, they followed standard protocol in this search as they do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force. There was no departure from the norm in this matter. That statement is the truth, not just based on what the FBI said, but based on decades and decades of me covering these things. This is what they do. And for Trump world to claim that this was something else is just a flat-out lie top to bottom.