Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
New audio obtained by CNN revealed that Donald Trump admitted to a writer and publisher during an interview that he took classified documents from the White House without declassifying them first
The documents were likely part of the slew of materials the ex-president improperly – and possibly illegally – took from the White House when he vacated office
This quote was not included in the Justice Department indictment, which handed down 37 counts against the ex-president. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance in Miami earlier this month before going back 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 for the former president's once Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Attendees of the meeting, according to the indictment, were Trump, two of his staffers, a writer and a publisher.They were allegedly shown classified information about the plan of attack on Iran, Smith notes in the charges.
Trump said in the recording 'these are the papers' when referring to something he claimed was 'highly confidential.'
The exchange was one of two the indictment noted when claiming Trump showed classified information to those without security clearances.
Special counsel Jack Smith handed down 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 did not have any documents with him during those meetings.
'There was no document,' he insisted in the wide-ranging interview. 'That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things.'
'And it may have been held up or may not, but that was not a document. I didn't have a document, per se,' Trump added. 'There was nothing to declassify. These were newspaper stories, magazine stories and articles.'
At the time of the interview, Trump was fixated on a New Yorker article centered around Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. The piece claimed that Milley was worried about Trump starting conflict with Iran and argued against the president striking 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, have a big pile of papers this thing just – look. This was him. They presented me this – this is off the record.' Trump says, according to the audio.
'This was done by the military and given to me,' Trump continues, before noting that the document remained classified.
'Isn't that amazing? This totally wins my case, you know? Except it is highly confidential – secret. This is secret information.'