Former President Donald Trump revealed new information about a supposedly “secret document” he discussed on an audio recording at the center of a federal indictment earlier this month.
Trump was charged with 37 counts related to his management of classified documents by special counsel Jack Smith. Trump, President Joe Biden’s chief opponent in next year’s presidential election, could face decades in prison if proven guilty on all charges.
At least twice, according to the indictment, Trump is alleged to have shown classified documents to individuals who lacked the necessary security clearances. The DOJ claims that both incidents occurred at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
CNN received information regarding one of the alleged instances.
CNN reported on June 2 that federal prosecutors “obtained an audio recording of a summer 2021 meeting in which former President Donald Trump admits he kept a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran,” contradicting his claim that he declassified everything.
The charges “include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, a scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations,” ABC News reported.
Trump, however, stated in a wide-ranging interview with Bret Baier on Monday that he never showed anyone the classified U.S. military plan referenced in the audio recording.
The Epoch Times indicates:
General Mark Milley, the then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, drafted a classified military plan to attack Iran, which Trump asserted he had never seen. Trump claims he did not approve the plan.
The meeting took place at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on July 21, 2021, roughly six months after the end of Trump’s presidency. The meeting between a writer, publisher, and two former presidential advisers centered on Mark Meadows’ forthcoming book. Meadows was Trump’s former chief of staff.
“There was no document,” Trump told Baier.
“That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things,” he continued. “And it may have been held up or may not, but that was not a document. I didn’t have a document, per se. There was nothing to declassify. These were newspaper stories, magazine stories, and articles,” he explained.
According to the indictment, Trump stated at the meeting that he discovered Milley’s “plan of attack.” However, he denied directing Milley to construct such a plan and stated that it was a misunderstanding.
“I never ordered that to happen, no,” Trump told the Fox News anchor.
Baier inquired about Trump’s use of the term “secret” to describe a document, which appeared to contradict his earlier assertions that all relevant materials had been declassified. Trump clarified that his statement was in reference to his limited authority to declassify documents after his presidency ended, and that the reason for their secrecy was the confidentiality of the source materials he possessed.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
“What I said, that I couldn’t declassify now, that’s because I wasn’t president,” Trump said. “I’d never made any bones about that. When I’m not president, I can’t declassify.” CONTINUE READING…