On May 31, it was disclosed that federal prosecutors had obtained an audio recording featuring former President Donald Trump engaging in a conversation regarding a classified document pertaining to a potential attack on Iran.
The audio recording of the meeting, which took place in Bedminster, New Jersey in 2021, was obtained by the news network.
Currently, there have been no official statements from Department of Justice lawyers regarding the discovery of the classified document mentioned in the recorded meeting.
The New York Post provided additional details on this matter:
An audio recording has emerged of former President Donald Trump apparently discussing classified material in July of 2021 related to a potential military strike against Iran.
In the two-minute recording, obtained by CNN on Monday, Trump, 77, is heard shuffling through papers and discussing a purported plan hatched by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to launch an attack against the US adversary while acknowledging that the information is “highly confidential” and “secret.” (click the link to listen)
“Well, with Milley – let me see that. I’ll show you an example,” Trump’s distinctive voice is heard saying on the recording.
“He said that I wanted to attack Iran – isn’t it amazing? I have a big pile of papers. This thing just came up, look. This was him. They presented me this,” the former president says, apparently while showing off the classified document.
Trump notes, “This is off the record” as he continues discussing the sensitive material.
“This was him. This was the Defense Department and him, we looked at some, this was him. This wasn’t done by me, this was him … all sorts of stuff … pages long.”
The taped conversation reportedly happened at Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club, where the former president met with individuals helping write an autobiography of Mark Meadows, Trump’s last White House chief of staff.
A redacted transcript of the recording was included in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment against Trump and is presented as a key piece of evidence in the government’s case against the former president over accusations that he willfully retained national defense information after leaving office.
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Smith noted in the indictment that “none” of the parties involved in the conversation – a writer, a publisher, and two members of his staff – “possessed a security clearance.”
“Isn’t that amazing? This totally wins my case, You know? Except it is like highly confidential, secret information,” Trump says in the tape.
In the two-minute audio recording, Trump and a staffer – reportedly his communications aide Margo Martin – also joke about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, which Smith did not transcribe in the indictment.
“Hillary would print that out all the time, you know. Her private emails,” Trump’s staffer says.
“No, she’d send it to Anthony Weiner,” Trump responds, referring to the former Democratic congressman whose laptop was found by the FBI to have thousands of emails from Clinton on it.
After joking about Weiner and Clinton, Trump goes back to discussing the purported Iran attack plan.
“See as president I could have declassified it,” Trump says. “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
“Now we have a problem,” his staffer responds.
“Isn’t that interesting,” Trump says.
“It’s so cool,” he adds, before asking someone to “bring some Cokes in please” as the audio ends.
The 37-count indictment against Trump includes 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one count of withholding a document or record, one count of corruptly concealing a document or record, one count of concealing a document in a federal investigation, one count of scheming to conceal a document or record and one count of making false statements.
Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to all counts.