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CNN has posted the recording that federal prosecutors included in their indictment of former President Donald Trump earlier this month in which he apparently shows “secret information” to a writer and a publisher.
CNN, which previously reported on a transcript of the recording, obtained the actual audio in which Trump is heard telling the pair — during an interview he knew was being recorded — that he was showing them “secret information” that he did not declassify as president.
In the recording, Trump is heard shuffling through papers and then pointing to what he said was a plan of attack on Iran that he says Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley gave to him.
“Except it is like, highly confidential,” Trump said. “Secret. This is secret information.”
“This was done by the military and given to me,” Trump said, later adding: “See, as president I could have declassified it. Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
The Trump audio:
"See as president I could have declassified it. Now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret."
"Now we have a problem," a staffer responds. pic.twitter.com/ftNqOTnfZn
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 27, 2023
Trump responded to the release of the tape by claiming that Special Counsel Jack Smith leaked it, but he did not deny the tape’s authenticity.
“The Deranged Special Prosecutor, Jack Smith, working in conjunction with the DOJ & FBI, illegally leaked and ‘spun’ a tape and transcript of me which is actually an exoneration, rather than what they would have you believe,” Trump said on social media. “This continuing Witch Hunt is another ELECTION INTERFERENCE Scam. They are cheaters and thugs!”
The former president told Fox News anchor Bret Baier last week that he did not show classified documents to individuals without security clearances despite his claim on the recording.
“It wasn’t a document,” Trump said. “I had lots of paper. I had copies of newspaper articles. I had copies of magazines.”
Baier responded, “This is specifically a quote, you’re quoted on the recording saying the document was ‘secret,’ adding that you could have declassified it while you were president, but, quote, ‘Now I can’t, you know, this is still secret, highly confidential.’ And the indictment cites the recording and the testimony from people in the room saying you showed it to people there that day.”
Trump rejected those statements, claiming that it was “just the opposite.”
“You say on tape you can’t declassify,” Baier responded. “So why have it?”
“When I said that, I couldn’t declassify it now because I wasn’t president, I never made any bones about that,” Trump answered. “When I’m not president, I can’t declassify.”
When Baier again mentioned that Trump was recorded on tape saying those things, Trump responded, “No, no. Bret, there was no document.”
BAIER: "According to the indictment, […] you were recorded saying that had a document detailing a plan of attack on another county […] the Iran attack plan. Do you remember that?"
TRUMP: "Ready? It wasn't a document. I had lots of paper. I had copies of newspaper articles." pic.twitter.com/QJMzyxBrYq
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 19, 2023