Trump heard discussing secret documents on tape

In an audio tape aired by US media, former US President Donald Trump can be heard discussing secret documents he supposedly kept after leaving the White House and admitting they had not been declassified.

The two-minute film, which CNN aired late Monday and ABC and CBS later received, is from an interview Trump did in July 2021 at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club for persons working on a memoir by his former chief of staff Mark Meadows.

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Parts of the transcript of the video were mentioned as evidence in special counsel Jack Smith’s 49-page indictment of Trump on accusations of mishandling confidential documents after leaving office.

The audio file includes a moment when Trump seems to indicate he is holding a secret Pentagon document with plans to attack Iran.

“These are the papers,” Trump says in the recording, a quote that was not included in the indictment.

He also refers to something as “highly confidential” and “this is secret information” as he seems to be showing something to the others in the room.

“This was done by the military and given to me,” Trump continues, before noting that one would need to “declassify it” for it to be used in the book.

“You see, as president I could have declassified it. Now I can’t, you know,” he says.

“Now we have a problem,” one of other people responds.

“Isn’t that interesting? It’s so cool,” Trump says, just before the recording ends with him calling for someone to bring in some Cokes.

Trump denied 37 counts of deliberately mishandling US government secrets and conspiring to hinder their return earlier this month, making him the first US president to face federal criminal accusations.

Following the publication of the recording, Trump slammed Smith on his Truth Social website, labeling him “deranged” and falsely accusing him of colluding with the Justice Department and FBI to “illegally” leak and mischaracterize the tape.

The tape, he claimed, was “actually an exoneration, rather than what they would have you believe.”

“This continuing Witch Hunt is another ELECTION INTERFERENCE Scam. They are cheaters and thugs!” he posted.

The government accuses 77-year-old Trump — who is vying to win back the White House next year — of willfully hoarding dozens of classified documents he took unlawfully to his beachfront mansion in Florida, refusing to return them and conspiring to obstruct investigators seeking their recovery.

Trump is also accused of disclosing vital US secrets to individuals who lacked security clearance.

His criminal trial is set to begin on August 14, but Smith has already requested that the date be moved to December.

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