New audio reveals details of Donald Trump’s conversations with aides about his unauthorized — and possibly illegal — possession of classified documents.
CNN made the announcement Monday night a two-minute recording from the president’s previous 2021 rally in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he talked about the documents he didn’t start earlier when he left the workplace, but took with him.
The dialogue has become central to special counsel Jack Smith’s impeachment against Trump.
Specifically, Trump appears to say he has a “secret” classified Pentagon document detailing plans to attack Iran.
“These are the documents,” Trump says, discussing the Pentagon’s attack plans.
New audio obtained by CNN has revealed that Donald Trump admitted to an author and writer during an interview that he took classified documents from the White House without releasing them first.
The documents appear to have been part of a huge trove of tissue that the former president mistakenly — and possibly illegally — found far from the White House when he left the workplace.
That quote was not included in the Justice Department’s 37-count indictment against the former president. He pleaded not guilty to the charges at a trial in Miami earlier this month before returning to the Bedminster golf club in New Jersey for a news conference.
The audio is from a July 2021 interview Trump gave in Bedminster to people who have collaborated on a memoir by the former president’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
The assembly members, according to the indictment, included Trump, two of his staffers, an author and a writer. They allegedly obtained secret information about the plan to attack Iran, Smith states in the indictment.
Trump said “these are documents” in the recording, referring to one item he claimed was “highly confidential.”
The deal was considered one of two high-profile revelations when he alleged that Trump had disclosed classified data to people who did not have security clearances.
Special counsel Jack Smith filed a 37-count indictment against Trump
In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier last week, Trump appeared to contradict what has now been identified from the audio recording, saying he did not carry any documents to those conferences.
“There was no document,” he blurted during the intense interview. “It was a huge amount of papers and everything else about Iran and stuff.”
“And it may or may not have stopped, but it wasn’t a document. I didn’t have a document myself,” Trump added. “There was nothing to put down. It was newspaper stories, magazine stories and articles.
During the interview, Trump was engrossed in a New Yorker article about the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. The article claimed that Milley was concerned about Trump’s conflict with Iran and opposed the president hitting a nation in the Middle East.
“I just thought, because we were talking about it. And you know, he said, ‘He wanted to attack Iran,’ and – isn’t it great, you have a big stack of papers, just this thing – look. This was him. They told me brought it up — it’s not on the record, Trump says, according to the audio.
“It was done by the military and given to me,” Trump continued, before noting that the doctor is still classified.
‘Isn’t it great? That totally wins my case, you know? Except that it is extremely confidential – a secret. This is estimated data.