In the wake of an unprecedented FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida that appeared to stem from a relatively minor dispute over improperly stored presidential records, political tensions have been ratcheted up sharply across the nation.
It has now been reported that Trump reached out to Attorney General Merrick Garland in the days following that raid to ask if there was anything that he could do to help reduce the increased tension, the Daily Wire reported.
That outreach was reported to have occurred just prior to a brief press conference by Garland on Thursday in which he admitted that he had authorized the search warrant and FBI raid of Trump’s residence and decried a spike in threats of violence against the government but took no questions from reporters and made no mention of the alleged offer of assistance from Trump.
Trump message to Garland
According to an anonymously-sourced report from The New York Times, former President Trump sent a private message through somebody close to him to a Justice Department official to pass along to Attorney General Garland on Thursday ahead of his brief press conference.
That message purportedly stated: “The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?”
Yet, in his public remarks Thursday afternoon, Garland made no allusion to that supposed offer and instead focused on the raid itself and the action his DOJ would take to unseal the search warrant and seized property receipt for public view prior to accepting responsibility for what had occurred.
“First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland told reporters. “Second, the Department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
That was followed by a rebuke of the threats and “unfounded attacks” on the DOJ and FBI following the raid — arguably the perfect time to mention Trump’s alleged plea for calm — before ending his remarks without taking questions.
Trump makes public his offer of assistance to cool things down
If the report of this message from Trump to Garland is accurate, that message bears a striking resemblance to what Trump said Monday in an exclusive interview with Fox News about everything that had occurred.
“If there is anything we can do to help, I, and my people, would certainly be willing to do that,” Trump said in reference to the purported DOJ probe of ostensibly classified materials he had stored at Mar-a-Lago instead of the National Archives.
The former president noted, however, that he “has not heard yet” from the DOJ over if his offer of assistance would be accepted but went on to reiterate, “I will do whatever I can to help the country.”
Of course, despite the alleged offer of assistance, Trump made clear in the interview that he and millions of his supporters were quite “angry” at the apparent political persecution against him and warned: “Whatever we can do to help — because the temperature has to be brought down in the country. If it isn’t, terrible things are going to happen.”