Now bombshell audio reveals Trump admitting he had classified documents he shouldn’t have removed from the White House detailing a military attack on Iran – and the ex-president showed papers to unauthorized persons
- New audio reveals Trump showing unauthorized people classified documents he took from the White House without first declassifying them
- The discussion took place with a writer and editor working on the memoir of Mark Meadows
- The ex-president is embroiled in a federal case for removing the materials and faces 37 counts, to which he pleaded not guilty earlier this month.
New audio reveals details of Donald Trump’s discussion with his aides regarding his improper – and potentially illegal – possession of classified documents.
CNN published on Monday evening the two-minute recording of the former president’s 2021 meeting in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he spoke about the documents he did not declassify before leaving office but took with him anyway him.
The conversation became pivotal in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of Trump.
Specifically, Trump appears to be saying he has a Pentagon document with a “secret” classification that includes plans to attack Iran.
“It’s the newspapers,” Trump says, discussing the Pentagon’s attack plans.
New audio obtained by CNN has revealed that Donald Trump admitted to a writer and editor during an interview that he took classified White House documents without declassifying them first.
The documents were likely among the slew of documents the former president improperly — and possibly illegally — took from the White House when he left office.
This quote was not included in the indictment from the Justice Department, which filed 37 counts against the ex-president. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance in Miami earlier this month before returning to his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey for a press conference.
The audio is from a July 2021 interview Trump participated in at Bedminster for people working on the memoir of former President Mark Meadows’ former chief of staff.
Attendees at the meeting, according to the indictment, were Trump, two of his aides, a writer and an editor. They were allegedly shown classified information about the plan to attack Iran, Smith notes in the charges.
Trump said in the recording “these are the papers” referring to something he called “highly confidential.”
The exchange was one of two the indictment noted when it claimed Trump showed classified information to those who lacked security clearance.
Special Counsel Jack Smith issues a 37-count indictment against Trump
In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier last week, Trump appeared to contradict what is now known from the audio recording by saying he had no documents with him from those meetings.
“There were no documents,” he insisted in the wide-ranging interview. “It was a massive amount of newspapers and everything that talked about Iran and stuff.”
“And it may or may not have been withheld, but it was not a document. I didn’t have a document per se,’ Trump added. “There was nothing to declassify. It was newspaper articles, magazines and articles.
At the time of the interview, Trump was obsessed with a New Yorker article centered on Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. The article claimed that Milley feared Trump would ignite a conflict with Iran and opposed the president hitting the Middle Eastern nation.
“I was just thinking, because we were talking about it. And you know, he said, “He wanted to attack Iran,” and – isn’t it amazing, having a big stack of papers this thing just – look. It was him. They presented me with this – it’s unofficial. Trump says, according to the audio.
“It was done by the military and given to me,” Trump continues, before noting that the document remains classified.
‘Isn’t it amazing? This totally wins my case, you know? Except it’s highly confidential – secret. This is secret information.