Former US President Donald Trump discussed secret documents with his staff, including those relating to plans to attack Iran. This is reported by CNN with reference to an audio recording of the conversation of the ex-president, made in 2021.
The tape is important evidence in the "illegal possession of classified documents" case against Trump.
The recording, which was accessed by reporters, was made in July 2021 in Bedminster, New Jersey, during a meeting between Trump and the authors of the memoirs of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
The recording begins with Trump saying that “these are bad sick people” (who exactly, I am not specified ) , and his employee claims that there was a coup against Trump. Then there are the secret documents.
Trump was in possession of a Pentagon document on a possible attack on Iran, according to the information that came out in the conversation. He showed "secret information about the plan of attack" to a writer, a publisher, and two of his employees. This is also stated in the indictment.
“Here are the papers,” Trump says in an audio recording, discussing the Pentagon’s attack plans.
According to the channel, this confirms that at that moment the ex-president had the documents. He also says they are "very private" and is likely showing the papers to the workers in the room.
The following part of the conversation is included in the indictment: on the audio recording, you can hear someone shifting papers when Trump tells those present that he has a role model.
"He said I want to attack Iran, isn't that amazing?" Trump says as the sound of papers being shuffled is heard.
“I have a big pile of papers, this thing just appeared. See. It was he. They presented it to me - it's off the record - but they presented it to me. It was he. It was the Department of Defense and him."
However, Trump has previously argued otherwise:
“There were no documents. It was a huge amount of paperwork and everything else that concerned Iran and other things, ”Trump himself commented on this news on Fox.
On the released recording, the politician and interlocutors can also be heard joking about former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the fact that she printed out her emails.
“Hillary used to print it all the time, you know. Her personal email," Trump's employee says.
Almost at the end, Trump again says that how the president could declassify the document. The recording ends with a request to bring cola.
"Hey, bring some Coke, please," Trump said.
Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said "the audio provides context to further prove that President Trump has done nothing wrong."
On June 9, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed charges against Trump for illegal possession of classified documents. Among them are papers describing US conventional and nuclear weapons programs, potential weaknesses in the country's defenses, and plans to counter foreign invasion.
In May, a jury found Donald Trump guilty of a 1990s sexual harassment lawsuit by writer Jean Carroll and guilty of defamation. He was ordered to pay Carroll compensation in the amount of $5 million.