CNN obtained an audio recording of former President Donald Trump speaking about sensitive military documents he took after leaving the White House.
In the 2 minute audio clipIn the press release, Trump is heard describing a document compiled by General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Trump was President, regarding possible attacks on Iran. Discussion of the file was recorded during a 2021 meeting in Bedminster, New Jersey with people working on Milley’s memoir.
“He said I wanted to attack Iran. Isn’t it amazing?” Trump says in the audio clip of Milley as the noise is heard, which appears to be shuffling papers. “I have a large stack of papers. This thing just showed up. See. That was him. They presented this to me – it’s confidential, but – they presented this to me. That was him. It was the Department of Defense and him.”
“All sorts of things, pages long. Let’s see,” the former president continues. “Isn’t that amazing? That totally wins my case, you know, except it’s highly confidential, classified, classified information.”
Trump went on to say that the papers he showed his guest were confidential.
“Look, as President, I could have declassified it,” Trump said in the clip. “Now I can’t, you know, but that’s still a secret.”
Trump also joked with several people in the room after his staffers laughed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, saying she “prints it out all the time.”
“No,” Trump added, “she would send it to Anthony Weiner, the pervert,” referring to the former Democratic congressman who resigned after it was revealed he had sent explicit text messages.
The recording is reportedly a key piece of evidence in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case for Trump’s handling of classified files after his presidency.
Federal prosecutors this month indicted Trump on 37 felonies, accusing the former president of repeatedly compromising national security and undermining government efforts to return boxes of documents from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. The indictment cites the conversation obtained by CNN.
Trump denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all counts. He said that under the Presidential Records Act he had the absolute right to take anything he wanted with him when he left the White House and that he had standing orders to confiscate anything removed from the Oval Office during his presidency. to release.
However, the prosecutors seem to have based their investigation on Trump’s own words. The indictment lists at least two conversations — including the one in the CNN filing — in which he admitted that material in his possession remained classified.
US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case, has set the first hearing date for August 14. The Justice Department has asked for a delay until December, a timeline that would give Trump’s lawyers time to obtain the security clearances needed to review the treasure of the classified information mentioned in the indictment.