A new audio recording of former President Donald Trump discussing the classified documents during a 2021 meeting in Bedminster, N.J., was released on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Monday night.
The audio recording provides new evidence in the recent indictment of Trump due to special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the alleged mishandling of classified documents after Trump left the White House in 2021. The charge also noted that Trump deliberately tried to block the government from gaining access to the papers.
In the two-minute recording, Trump references a classified document he has in his possession that details a Pentagon plan for attacking Iran. In the recording, Trump states, “These are bad sick people,” while his staffer pointed toward Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The staffer then discussed how Milley had referred to trying “to do a coup.”
Trump’s response to this was included in the indictment, as he proceeded to joke about Hillary Clinton’s emails. The charge notes that this conversation occurred between the author, the published, and two Trump staffers. In the recording, Trump can be heard shuffling papers while saying that he was presented with this “highly confidential” plan and contained “secret information.”
Trump then states, “These are the papers,” adding that he could have declassified them during his office. He then said that they probably did not believe him before presenting the document but that now they did.
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