The White House was not briefed or given advance notice about the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, the Florida home of former President Donald Trump, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday, according to Politico.
“The president was not briefed, was not aware of it, no. No one at the White House was given a heads-up,” she said.
President Joe Biden learned about the Monday search through public reports, the press secretary said.
“We learned about this just like the American people did,” she said.
Jean-Pierre reiterated the Justice Department’s independence from the president in the investigation, and declined to comment on it further. She also highlighted the president’s previous comments on his commitment to the “rule of law.”
Trump said on Monday night that the FBI had conducted a search at Mar-a-Lago, and described the search as a “raid.”
Trump said his complex in Florida it was “under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” he added.
Sources told Politico that the search of Trump’s Florida estate was part of an investigation of his handling of presidential records.
The National Archives and Records Administration said in February it had sought records from Mar-a-Lago — including classified information — that they said were improperly removed.
House Democrats have applauded the search as a step toward accountability for the former President.
Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence and all of Florida’s top GOP politicians, have condemned the search, as Trump world has looked to capitalize politically on the search.