Donald Trump Presents: Storage Wars | Crooked Media
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December 07, 2022
What A Day
Donald Trump Presents: Storage Wars

In This Episode

  • The Washington Post reported that a team hired by former President Donald Trump’s lawyers found at least two documents marked “classified” inside a storage unit in West Palm Beach, Florida. It’s the first indication that more potentially sensitive material was, or could still be kept, at one of Trump’s properties.
  • China is reportedly easing some of its strict “zero COVID” policies, following mass protests over the government’s response to the pandemic. But there are questions about how the rollback will be implemented, as China faces an increasing number of new infections.
  • And in headlines: Peruvian lawmakers swore in their first female president after ousting her predecessor, German authorities arrested 25 people accused of plotting a far-right coup, and hundreds of New York Times journalists will stage a historic 24-hour strike.

 

Show Notes:

 

 

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Juanita Tolliver: It’s Thursday, December 8th. I’m Juanita Tolliver.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: And I am Priyanka Aribindi. And this is What A Day where we are desperately wishing we could be inside Buckingham Palace when the Harry and Meghan documentary drops on Netflix tonight. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Buckingham Palace has shown they don’t do well when Black women call them out, just like the Black woman called them out last week for their racist staffer who quit all of a sudden, so the timing of this drop could not be better. Bring on the drama. [music break] On today’s show, police in Germany arrested dozens of people accused of plotting a far right coup. Plus, hundreds of journalists at The New York Times are on strike. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: But first, yesterday, The Washington Post reported that a team hired by former President Donald Trump’s lawyers found at least two documents marked classified inside of a storage unit in West Palm Beach, Florida. Those documents have since been handed over to the FBI. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Here we go again. Like, honestly– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yup. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –It feels like deja vu. And I assume more documents will continue to be found. But break down exactly why this is wild and significant for folks Priyanka. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: All of this means that the search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, you probably remember back in August when the FBI recovered a trove of classified documents that Trump had kept after leaving office. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: That wasn’t everything. There were more classified documents out there. There might still be more, like you’re saying, like we have no idea. The key difference here, though, is that the team who found this was actually hired by Trump’s own lawyers, as opposed to the FBI searching his home like they did at Mar-a-Lago. So this is a little bit different. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: It sounds weird, too. And so I got two questions. Did the FBI just miss these documents in their search? And how is Trump’s own team responsible for looking for more documents? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, no, I’m happy to explain because I, too, when I first read this, was like, why are they doing this? Like, is this not the job of law enforcement? I’m confused. So a little background. Earlier this year, Trump received a subpoena that ordered him to turn over all the classified materials that he still had because, you know, he’s no longer president. He wasn’t supposed to have them in the first place. Clearly, he did not do that. So the FBI was sent to Mar-a-Lago. They find more classified shit, lots of it. They bring it back. But the DOJ is not sold. That Mar-a-Lago search took place in August, but even in October, a top DOJ lawyer told the Trump legal team that they didn’t believe that Trump had turned over all the documents that he took when he left the White House. And a federal judge ordered Trump’s legal team to basically go back and look harder, which is– 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Look harder? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –I think a crazy response to people not complying with a subpoena is basically telling them, like, I don’t think you’re complying, so like why don’t you go uh try this again? But [?] basically they were told to go look harder for anything else that they might have. They had to be able to attest that they had turned over everything. So that is probably why this legal team hired this private team to do these searches for them, because they wanted to be able to attest that they turned over everything. They got this nudge nudge like, we don’t think you are doing it, so please actually take care of this shit and this is their solution. So this search was one of four that were conducted by the outside team in recent weeks. They also searched Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago once again, and Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. This was the only one that yielded more classified materials, at least as far as we know at this point. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Look, and I also need to rewind a little bit. You said these documents were found in a storage unit. How pedestrian? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Like what? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: This story is so strange in so many ways. So Trump didn’t go out and rent this storage unit to stash his documents, though I bet that thought did cross his mind at some point. Uh. The General Services Administration, which among other things, helps former presidents transition into like normal life, helped rent the unit for Trump, and it was used to store items that were previously in an office that his staffers used in Northern Virginia right after he left office. But apparently it contained a whole bunch of crap in addition to these documents. There were gifts, suits, swords, wrestling belts, like a very–

 

Juanita Tolliver: What! 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –odd assortment. There was no um catalog of everything in there. Absolutely no one knew what exactly was there. If it sounds chaotic to you, that’s because it really is. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: It’s pure chaos. But I got to say this. I appreciate that wrestling belts were in there. I grew up watching WCW, WWF, now WWE. So I’m like who’s wrestling belt did he have? Okay, but that’s neither here nor there.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Juanita no, we cannot be finding [laughter] commonalities with Donald Trump. No, absolutely. No, I will not allow it. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Okay. We’ll cut that off. But what else do we know about the documents that were found so far? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. So honestly, we don’t know very much. So as of now, it’s not clear what exactly these documents contained. It’ll probably stay that way for a bit. And as much as we’d all like to know, you know, this is an ongoing investigation. And to that point, we still don’t know the exact nature of the things that were recovered from that Mar-a-Lago search either. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Though the Washington Post did previously report that some of them described nuclear weapons and other wild things. So, yeah, you can get a sense that it’s not great that he had them there. But all of this does make two things abundantly clear. First of all, Mar-a-Lago wasn’t the only place that Trump was keeping classified material. And second, these people clearly did not comply with the grand jury subpoena that they got months ago for all of–

 

Juanita Tolliver: That part. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –these documents. Yeah. I mean, like whether or not they thought they complied before, whatever the argument can be made. But like the fact is they did not comply. If there were documents that were still out there, they were not in compliance, which is I don’t know and I thought that was illegal. I thought that was a problem. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Add it to the list of criminal offenses. Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Like this is what that is. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. So all of this has also happened while Trump and his team I mean, first of all, he’s running for president. So like throw a wrench into the mix. His team has also been trying to stop the review of these documents. They tried to appeal to the Supreme Court. They tried to get a special master. His attempts have failed. But it’s an incredibly bad look for someone who has stayed looking incredibly bad this entire time. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: It’s so bad that I’m like DOJ. Wrap it up. Get this done. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Please. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Like I’m ready–

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Please. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –for this man to be held accountable. He’s demonstrated repeatedly that he has committed crimes. The literal papers were strewn across his house like and now in storage units. Get some accountability right now. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Get some accountability. It’s also such a bad look for I mean, obviously for him, but like for all of us, please like this man. No, absolutely no. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: As they say in the culture, are you not embarrassed? Like this is that. This is that, it’s embarrassing and– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: It’s embarrassing. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –I need some progress in these investigations because that’s the only way I’ll have any faith in the fact that Trump will be held accountable and will face consequences. But, you know, I guess we got to wait and see. In a different edition of I’ll Believe It when I see it on the other side of the globe. China is reportedly easing some of its strict policies related to COVID following mass protests over the government’s response to the pandemic. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Okay, I am sensing a little bit of skepticism here, so please explain what’s happening and then why you you may be feeling a bit skeptical about this. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I’m completely side eyeing this entire story because let’s rewind a little bit. As you may recall from his two hour speech in October, President Xi Jinping doubled down on China’s zero-covid policies that have been enforced for the past three years, including snap lockdowns of entire communities, closed borders, invasive digital surveillance and mass mandatory testing, all in the name of, quote, “putting people’s lives above all else.” Well, since that speech, frustration and anger over these extreme policies boiled over and protests took to the streets these past few weeks to register their oppositions and to call for Xi’s ouster in some cases. And now the Communist Party is backtracking in what they call a, quote, “planned transition” girl. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, okay. Not quite adding up to me. So, I mean, you’re telling me that it just so happens that after three years of enforcing these policies, China is going to shift gears all of a sudden and say that it had absolutely nothing to do with the recent mass protests, like at all? I don’t know.

 

Juanita Tolliver: Emphasis on all of a sudden. Right. Like, I mean, that’s exactly what they want us to believe anyway. According to the Communist Party, this isn’t a pivot at all. This is not a reaction to the mass protests that have been happening for weeks now. Nope, this is a transition they’ve been planning all along as president Xi’s plans have been victorious over COVID and to keep the nation’s economy moving forward, because that’s critical here in this story. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Got it. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: And under this transition in policy, the new guidelines include targeted lockdowns. So instead of cutting off entire communities and neighborhoods, they’re going to only cut off specific buildings. Right. There is also going to be a little bit of flexibility when it comes to quarantine. So for people who test positive for COVID and have mild symptoms, they’ll be allowed to quarantine at home instead of being wrestled to the ground, put in a hazmat suit and taken to a government quarantine center, which, let’s be real, have been reported to be overcrowded and disgustingly unsanitary. And there are now relaxed travel guidelines that people traveling domestically will not have to test negative for COVID before their trips. Now, I’m not sure what to make of these changes just yet, as there are still so many questions about when they’ll take effect, how they’ll be rolled out. But another reason this timing strikes me as odd is because just over a week ago, China reported a record high in new COVID cases. So the math really ain’t mathin. It just doesn’t add up. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, like, it kind of seems like all of this information is at odds with each other. The policies sound great, like you say, like we have no idea how and when. Like–

 

Juanita Tolliver: Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –these will start to be implemented. In theory, cool, but very strange timing. Also extremely like fragile ego man child to be like this is not happening because of the protests. Absolutely. No, this was part of our master plan all along anyways. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: It’s giving Winnie the Pooh, you know. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Oh God, do not Google Xi Jinping. Winnie the Pooh. Like don’t do it. Don’t do it. What should we expect next from President Xi? Expect the unexpected? What’s happening here? 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Girl. At this point, we should all be questioning how this rollback will be implemented, especially in the face of increasing number of infections. Public health experts have warned that Xi could reverse course and even adopt more stringent policies if COVID infections increase under these eased restrictions. There are also concerns about China’s health care system being overrun by new cases, especially as millions of elderly people have yet to be vaccinated. Also considering that China’s track record for committing human rights abuses is well known and well documented. We should be watching for how the government responds if protests continue and crackdowns of free speech worsen. Protesters have been particularly careful about the slogans and chants that they use in order to not be targeted by police, often resorting to mocking chants about wanting more COVID tests or holding up blank sheets of paper in silence. This is all still very much a developing story, especially as we wait to see how these changes are implemented. So we’ll keep you updated as we learn more. But that’s the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break]. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Let’s wrap up with some headlines. 

 

[sung] Headlines. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Russian military forces killed at least 441 civilians, including dozens of children, in the first six weeks of the invasion of Ukraine. That is according to a new report from the United Nations human rights watchdog, though it warns that the actual number of victims is likely much higher. It’s part of a larger effort to document war crimes in Ukraine that could help with any future prosecutions. However, Moscow has repeatedly denied that its military deliberately targets civilians. However, Moscow also repeatedly lies. So I don’t know why we would take anything they say at face value. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: That part. Yesterday was a pretty chaotic day in Peruvian politics with lawmakers in that country swearing in their first ever female president just hours after impeaching and detaining her embattled predecessor, Pedro Castillo. During his short time in office. Castillo has been caught in several corruption scandals, and Peru’s Congress was set to impeach him for the third time yesterday. But in a last ditch effort to stay in power, Castillo said that he would dissolve Congress and install an emergency government to block them from doing so. Lawmakers beat him to the punch and impeached him anyway, and he was detained by police shortly afterward. The whirlwind day ended with lawmakers making history by swearing in Castillo’s vice president, Dina Boluarte, as his replacement. She is now the sixth president Peru has had in less than five years. That’s got to be a record. Jesus. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Listen, there is a lot of crazy shit happening in governments around the world. Uh really hard to be at the top of the list. But Peru, I think you just got there. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: This week. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, this week at least. German authorities yesterday arrested 25 people accused of plotting to overthrow the country’s government. Over 3000 officers conducted raids across Germany with two arrests made in Italy and Austria. The suspects are said to be conspiracy theorists and members of the so-called Reichsbürger Movement, a far right fringe group that believes that the German government after the Nazi era is illegitimate. And of course, some QAnon followers, too, because American brain worms are very contagious. The group was reportedly planning to storm the German parliament building and install a new government. Where have I heard that one before? Members of the group were also involved in protests over COVID-19 restrictions, and the arrests come as far right groups are becoming more and more prominent around the world. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Feels awfully familiar, girl. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Terrifying, really. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: The old gray lady needs to learn some old gray generosity because more than a thousand domestic reporters and other union workers at The New York Times will temporarily leave their jobs today after months of stalled negotiations with the company for a new labor contract. For context, their last contract expired in March of last year. Last night was the deadline for the company to offer workers a new deal that fulfilled their demands for better pay and benefits. But none came. The 24 hour walkout is expected to leave the newsroom nearly empty today, though the Times may lean on international reporters and nonunion journalists to fill the gap. In the meantime, the union has asked readers to respect their picket line by not engaging with any New York Times platforms today during the work stoppage. And yes, that includes Wordle. Folks, I assure you, you can break your streak and choose to support workers today. Just do it. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Listen, it’s one day. No wordle, no New York Times cooking app, no checking the homepage or reading the newsletters. It’s not that hard. They do phenomenal work, so I get why we would all want to do that. But for one day we are recognizing that we agree they do phenomenal work and that they need to be paid. And lastly, a beloved brand’s claims about its dairy aren’t passing the smell test. Someone has sued the maker of T.G.I. Friday’s mozzarella snack sticks after discovering that they don’t actually contain mozzarella cheese at all. [laughter] Yeah. Crazy. This perfect use of the American legal system began after the plaintiff, a woman in Illinois, bought the sticks in January 2021, but was shocked by an ingredients list showing that they only contained cheddar cheese and not the titular mozz. The manufacturer of the imposter sticks argues that the plaintiff should have known that their product doesn’t contain real mozzarella because it is stored unrefrigerated. These things are apparently more like Cheetos and less like the delicious, gooey appetizers they are named after. Juanita and I were extremely confused when we first read this.

 

Juanita Tolliver: We needed a heavy Google assist on this y’all. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, this needed to be explained to us because we could not wrap our brains around this concept anyways. A federal judge ruled late last month that the woman’s lawsuit against the manufacturer can continue because it’s a, quote, “reasonable interpretation for her to expect authentic mozz in her sticks.” If you are one of the approximately 13 people who bought T.G.I. Friday’s mozzarella snack sticks and thought that was a good idea, you could soon have a chance to join this women’s class action lawsuit. If you are everybody else. I’m sorry you missed out on the lawsuit, but you care, I guess, somewhat about your digestive health. And I love that for you. [laughter] 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Look, I’m trying not to judge people’s questionable snack choices. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I’m judging. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: But, like, it seems real basic. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I’ll do it for you. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: If it says mozzarella on the bag, shouldn’t mozzarella be in the ingredients. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Okay. 1,000%, yes. But I also [laughter] don’t understand what anybody thought they were getting by reading the back of this product. Like, what did you think you were going to find? And those are the headlines. [music break]

 

Juanita Tolliver: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Practice mindful snack buying and tell your friends to listen. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just non New York Times news sources for one day like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I’m Juanita Tolliver.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I’m Priyanka Aribindi. 

 

[spoken together] And support honesty in mozzarella marketing. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: That word snack is doing a whole lot of work on that packaging. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: All of it. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Cause’ it was mozzarella–

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Dare we say.

 

Juanita Tolliver: –snack sticks. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I’m perplexed. I’m disgusted. I’m feeling a lot of emotions about this. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Dismayed. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I need a lactaid. [laughter] [music break]

 

Juanita Tolliver: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Jazzi Marine and Raven Yamamoto are our associate producers. Our head writer is Jon Millstein and our executive producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.