The Department of Justice has returned former President Donald Trump's passports, but only after they "grabbed everything" while raiding his Mar-a-Lago home last week like a "common criminal," Trump wrote Tuesday evening.
"The DOJ and FBI just returned my passports," Trump wrote on Truth Social. "Thank you!"
"Unfortunately, when they raided my home, Mar-a-Lago, 8 days ago, they just opened their arms and grabbed everything in sight, much as a common criminal would do," Trump's statement continued. "This shouldn’t happen in America!"
Trump first raised the issue of his passports being "stolen" from his home Monday night, and NBC News' Norah O'Donnell tweeted a claim to the contrary — which would ultimately prove misleading.
"NEW: According to a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump's passports," she tweeted. "Trump had accused the FBI of stealing his three passports during the search of his Mar-a-Lago home."
After O'Donnell's tweet, Republicans and defenders of the former president noted her tweet "not in possession" missed the real news that the FBI or DOJ did indeed seize three Trump passports as he claimed.
"This is how Fake News works, folks," wrote Taylor Budowich, Trump's Save America PAC director of communications, in a tweet linked to a redacted email from a DOJ official acknowledging the seizure of the passports. "Biden admin actively feeds half truths and lies that the media willingly amplifies — advancing a partisan narrative to attack Trump. @NorahODonnell, did your 'source' read you this email? Did you bother asking if they indeed seized the passports?"
And Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell, wrote that O'Donnell propagated a falsehood.
"38k people fed fake news and Norah still hasn't corrected it 14 hrs later," Grenell tweeted.
Twitter did fact-check O'Donnell's tweet hours later, noting that "the passports were taken."
"@NorahODonnell got a warning label for pushing fake news and @maggieNYT got a Pulitzer for it," Grenell tweeted, taking a shot at The New York Times' Maggie Haberman for her years of reporting about Trump.
Former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka asserted that the FBI's acknowledgment that it returned the passports has exposed the weakness of the search.
"The fact the FBI got caught lying about stealing his passports. And then had to give them back. Means they have nothing," Gorka tweeted.
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