| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Ex-US president Donald Trump flaunts about keeping classified documents in new audio clip

CNN asserts that it has obtained an audio recording in which former US President Donald Trump boasts about retaining undisclosed military documents, but due to his departure from office, they are unable to declassify the mentioned materials.
The recording was reportedly made on July 21, 2021, at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.

This recording was previously reported and quoted in the Justice Department’s 37-count indictment related to Trump’s handling of classified documents after leaving office.

This is the first time that evidence has been made public in which Trump can be heard acknowledging taking classified documents with him after leaving White House.

The two-minute-long recording also undercuts Trump’s earlier assertions that he did not have the classified documents with him.

“These are the papers,” Trump can be heard in the audio recording while discussing the Pentagon’s plans to attack Iran, a quote that was not included in the indictment, according to CNN.

“They (military) presented me this — this is off the record,” Trump can be heard saying, describing the information he is showing to others as “highly confidential” and “secret”.
The audio records Trump speaking to several people and apparently showing them documents relating to a possible attack on Iran that he says were drawn up by United States Army General Mark Milley and which he himself says are still classified.

“Isn’t it amazing? I have a big pile of papers, this thing just came up. Look. [PAPERS SHUFFLING] This was him. They presented me this – this is off the record – but they presented me this. This was him. This was the Defence Department and him,” Trump can be heard saying.

In the audio clip, Trump and his aides were also joking about Hillary Clinton’s emails after the former president says that the document was “secret information.”

“Hillary would print that out all the time, you know. Her private emails,” Trump’s staffer said.

“No, she’d send it to Anthony Weiner,” Trump responded, referring to the former Democratic congressman, prompting laughter in the room.

Earlier this month, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts, including, wilful retention of national defence secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, corruptly concealing documents, concealing documents in a federal investigation, a scheme to conceal, and making false statements.

The prosecutors had alleged that he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of classified documents ranging from US nuclear secrets to the nation’s defence capabilities. He has denied all charges and denounced the probe as a political witch hunt.

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