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Jared Polis on Trump, 2024 and how to handle classified documents — "The Takeout"

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Denver — Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has mixed feelings about former President Donald Trump's third run for the presidency. 

"As a Democrat, we obviously salivate at the prospect of being able to defeat President Trump again. But as an American, I'd like to see a healthier body politic and would love to see somebody who believes in our Constitution, our system of governance and believes in the integrity of elections on both side of the aisle," Polis said in an interview with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett on "The Takeout."

The Colorado governor, who was reelected by a nearly 20-point margin in November, predicted another Democrat might challenge President Joe Biden in 2024 — but it won't be Polis.

Asked whether he has aspirations to run for the highest office, Polis said, "No…I really don't have the fire in my belly to do that."  Mr. Biden is expected to announce his reelection bid as soon as next month.

Jared Polis
FILE: Gov. Jared Polis explains about his supplemental budget at Carriage House of Governors Mansion in Denver, Colo., on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2023.  Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Polis spent five terms in the House before winning the governorship in 2018.

During his decade in Congress, Polis regularly handled classified materials. He believes Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence and President Biden could have avoided Justice Department scrutiny over their handling of classified documents, had they adhered to congressional protocols.

"We'd go to the [secure facility]," Polis said. "You leave your cell phone outside. You go in there. You review what you want to review, and you're not allowed to leave the room with any of it. So that same parameter should apply to the executive branch."

Polis called for reforming protocols governing the handling of sensitive materials.

"Why are people in the executive branch apparently able to walk out to non-secure places with classified information? They simply shouldn't be able to do that," Polis said.

Polis also weighed in on a decision by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, to block schools in his state from offering Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies. DeSantis claims the course imposes a left-leaning political agenda on students.

"I haven't reviewed the curriculum for that course, nor should I as governor. I don't view that as my job," Polis said. "The last thing a governor should be doing is micromanaging the curriculum…I don't know how a governor like Ron DeSantis can run a big state like Florida and still find time to review the AP curriculum."

Polis has also been briefed on the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old man who died from injuries sustained while he was allegedly beaten by five Memphis police officers earlier this month. Those officers face second-degree murder charges.

Video of Nichols' arrest is expected to be made public Friday evening and law enforcement officials are girding for nationwide protests.

Polis said he would watch the video when it is available. "I'm sure that the American public and myself included will also be following what type of accountability exists in Memphis for those who perpetrated this act," he said.

Executive producer: Arden Farhi

Producers: Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson

CBSN Production: Eric Soussanin 
Show email:
Twitter: @TakeoutPodcast
Instagram: @TakeoutPodcast

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