Audio obtained by CNN reveals that in a meeting held at his Bedminster, New Jersey resort in 2021, former President Donald Trump referred to certain papers as secret information. This recording, which was previously undisclosed to the public, has now come to light. The existence of the recording was initially reported by CNN in May, shortly before Trump faced charges from the Justice Department related to the hoarding of classified documents after his presidency.
Trump has since been arrested and pleaded not guilty to 37 federal counts, including violations of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and concealing documents in a federal investigation. The indictment by the Justice Department alleges that Trump not only retained highly classified national security documents but also showed them to unauthorized individuals.
In the recording, Trump can be heard discussing documents provided to him by General Mark Milley, which allegedly outlined plans to attack Iran. The New Yorker had previously reported Milley’s concerns about Trump’s intentions to initiate an attack on Iran to overturn the 2020 election.
During the conversation, Trump jokingly mentioned Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified materials and made references to Anthony Weiner. He also admitted on the tape that he had not taken steps to declassify the document before leaving office, acknowledging its highly confidential nature. Additionally, in a lighthearted moment, Trump requested Cokes for himself and those present in the room.
Trump has made contradictory statements about the documents he took from the White House, claiming at times that he secretly declassified them or that they were mistakenly packed with his personal belongings. These shifting explanations have raised concerns about his handling of national security secrets.
Due to these concerns, Special Counsel Jack Smith has filed a motion seeking to restrict Trump’s access to evidence released to his attorneys during discovery, as investigators worry about his public discussion of the case’s evidence.