Trump may release surveillance footage from FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, report says

·3 min read

Donald Trump might consider releasing security camera footage of the FBI search at his Mar-a-Lago residence as some of his allies have pressured him to make it public, according to a new report.

Some aides and allies of the former president are encouraging him to feature the closely held footage of the raid in campaign-style ads, a person familiar with the conversations told CNN.

The CCTV footage has been held so closely that it is believed the full footage has not been seen by the former president himself, the source said.

“I don’t think it’s been shared by anyone outside of the attorneys,” CNN’s source pointed out.

Trump lawyer Christina Bobb had earlier said the former president and his family “were actually able to see the whole thing” via CCTV footage.

However, the proposal has apparently divided opinion among those in his inner circle with some saying it would boost morale through the Republican party base while opponents warn of a potential backfire.

“Will you – you still have the surveillance tape, is that correct? Will you – are you allowed to share that with the country?” Fox News’ Sean Hannity had asked Eric Trump in an interview last week.

“Absolutely, Sean. At the right time,” the former president’s son replied, suggesting all law enforcement officers, even FBI agents, should wear body cameras for transparency.

One ally urging Mr Trump to release the footage is former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who said it will “red-pill the Nation” referring to the term from The Matrix which means to make the choice to learn a potentially unsettling or life-changing truth.

Another Trump ally who remained anonymous told CNN that releasing the footage would “drive the base f****** bananas” to see FBI agents “milling around Mar-a-Lago while President Trump was out of town”.

But opponents of the proposal said the strategy could backfire as it could provide his supporters with a visual understanding of the large quantities of materials, including classified files, taken by federal agents from his Palm beach residence.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, another Trump ally said he does not see how it would help him.

“It’s one thing to read a bunch of numbers on an inventory list, it’s another to see law enforcement agents actually carrying a dozen-plus boxes out of President Trump’s home knowing they probably contain sensitive documents,” the person said.

The CNN report also said timing was crucial as well – the footage could be released before Mr Trump formally announces he will run for president again.

It is not known what exactly the footage would reveal. Ms Bobb had also said FBI agents initially instructed Mar-a-Lago staff to turn off all surveillance cameras in the property, but the legal team later ensured the search could be filmed.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump had slammed the FBI demand for turning off security cameras. “In the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, the FBI demanded that all security cameras be turned off. What is that all about? We said no!”

The agency has reportedly removed 11 sets of classified documents from the former president’s property, including some marked top secret and concerned nuclear weapons.

According to the search warrant, the Justice Department is investigating whether Mr Trump broke three federal laws, including the Espionage Act.