Right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro minimized the scandal surrounding former Republican President Donald Trump's mishandling of classified information on The Daily Wire's political podcast, The Ben Shapiro Show.
Shapiro maintained there was nothing "nefarious" behind Trump's absconding with government documents to his Florida estate of Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House.
He also asserted that Trump should not be prosecuted as part of the FBI's ongoing criminal investigation looking for Trump possibly violating the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice.
While his comments excusing Trump for stealing the documents were not surprising, what made social media users squirm was listening to Shapiro's impression of Trump.
You can watch the segment here, with the Trump impersonation beginning at the 0:18 mark.
Shapiro asked viewers:
"Is there any evidence that Donald Trump meant to take these documents home to Mar-a-Lago and then hand them off to Vladimir Putin under cover of darkness?"
You remember, those were all the rumors at the time. The rumors at the time when this broke was that he was selling off our nuclear codes to the Chinese or some such nonsense."
"And it turns out those were all crap. The theory that I had from the beginning was correct."
This is when things went bonkers.
Shapiro imagined a scenario supporting his theory that Trump was casually innocent when discovering the documents and mimicked his voice.
"That, basically, Trump was like, 'I like that document. It's nice. It's signed by Kim Jong Un.'"
"'He and I are friends. Take it home. They call him Kim Jong Un.'"
He resumed in his regular speaking voice to defend Trump, saying:
"That was the actual reason he had the documents. Not for any nefarious purpose, but because Trump likes things and so he takes them."
Twitter users were...not impressed in the least.
Shapiro went on to denigrate former Democratic President Bill Clinton, suggesting he was guilty of a larger offense.
"By the way, that's not even unique to Trump. Bill Clinton really liked a lot of the stuff at the White House, and he just took it with him when he left in 2000."
"You remember this? He, like, took the cutlery in 2000 because Bill Clinton is trailer trash."
"But it is an amazing thing that they are now talking about prosecuting Trump over mishandling of classified documents."
As an attempt to excuse Trump from scrutiny, Shapiro described him as the type of individual who was "constantly skating on the edge," adding:
"But skating on the edge does not mean that you should be prosecuted if similarly situated people are not prosecuted."
Of the documents contained in 15 boxes retrieved by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration from Mar-a-Lago, federal agents and archivists found classification markings on 184 unique documents–including 25 that were labeled "top secret", 92 "secret" and 67 "confidential."