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Meadows says Trump did not order declassification of Russia documents

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE’s tweets about declassifying documents related to the Russia investigation were not an order to declassify or release further documents.

Meadows said in a sworn declaration in federal court that Trump’s tweets earlier this month instead merely referred to the authority given to Attorney General William BarrBill BarrNew DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Five federal inmates scheduled for execution before Inauguration Day MORE by the president last year to declassify material related to the Russia investigation.

“The President indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents,” Meadows wrote in the declaration filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.

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“The President’s statements do not require altering any redactions on any record at issue in these or any other cases, including, but not limited to, any redactions taken pursuant to any discretionary FOIA exemptions,” he added.

A federal judge had asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file a declaration from Trump or one of his aides explaining whether the president meant to declassify former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s report without redactions, which would directly conflict with the position of the DOJ.

Trump issued a flurry of tweets in early October stating that he had declassified all documents related to the “Russia Hoax,” a phrase he often uses to refer to Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and the 2016 Trump campaign’s contacts with Moscow.

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax,” Trump tweeted Oct. 6. “Likewise, the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonValadao unseats Cox in election rematch Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College Federal workers stuck it out with Trump — now, we're ready to get back to work MORE Email Scandal. No redactions!”

DOJ attorneys previously argued that the tweets should not be considered actual declassification orders.

The declaration from Meadows came in response to orders in two federal cases seeking documents from Mueller’s investigation.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center as well as Buzzfeed and CNN have filed lawsuits to gain access to more documents from the investigation.