CNN obtained audio which allegedly depicts former President Donald Trump talking about classified documents.
On Monday’s edition of Anderson Cooper 360, the host claimed that the audio, which has never been heard publicly, exposes Trump sharing US military war plans against Iran with people not cleared to have access to that information. He alleged the recordings were from July 2021 at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, club.
Cooper said that Trump shared documents with a writer working on Mark Meadows’ memoir, a publisher, and two Trump staff members. He claims the audio recordings play a “central piece” in federal prosecutor Jack Smith’s case against the former president. (RELATED: Obama Says Trump Indictment Shows ‘Nobody Is Above The Law’)
The audio opens with Trump bantering with a staffer over an alleged “coup” against him.
“That was your coup, you know, against you,” the staffer said. “When Milley’s talking about, ‘oh, you were going to try to do a coup.’ No, they were trying to do that before you even were sworn in,” the staffer added, according to the recording.
The former president apparently shuffles through a pile of papers while lamenting about his relationship with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.
“With Milley – let me see that, I’ll show you an example. He said that I wanted to attack Iran. Isn’t it amazing? I have a big pile of papers. This thing just came up. Look. This was him. They presented me this. This is off the record, but they presented me this. This was him. This was the Defense Department and him,” Trump said, according to the recording.
The others in the room could be heard reacting as they apparently viewed the alleged classified documents.
“We looked at some. This was him. This wasn’t done by me, this was him. All sorts of stuff, pages-long,” Trump said, according to the recording. “I just found, isn’t that amazing? This totally wins my case, you know?”
The former president apparently continues to flip through more documents.
“Except it is like highly confidential,” he said, according to the recording. “Secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this.”
The staffers and Trump then exchanged a series of jokes about former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email server.
“Hillary would print that out all the time, you know?” a staffer said.
“She’d send it,” Trump added, according to the recording. “No, she’d send it to Anthony Weiner. The pervert.”
Trump then appeared to share details about his conversations regarding Iran war plans.
“I was just thinking, because we were talking about it. And you know, he said, ‘he wanted to attack Iran,'” Trump said. “This was done by the military, given to me. I think we can probably, right?”
Trump then appears to again acknowledge the documents were still considered classified information, according to CNN’s recording.
“See, as president I could have declassified it,” Trump said. “Now, I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
“Yeah,” a staffer said. “Now we have a problem.”