Ladies and gentlemen, here's audio evidence that Donald Trump committed a federal crime.
CNN has exclusively obtained the audio recording of the 2021 meeting in Bedminster, New Jersey, where President Donald Trump discusses holding secret documents he did not declassify.
The recording, which first aired on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” includes new details from the conversation that is a critical piece of evidence in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of Trump over the mishandling of classified information, including a moment when Trump seems to indicate he was holding a secret Pentagon document with plans to attack Iran.
“These are the papers,” Trump says in the audio recording, while he’s discussing the Pentagon attack plans, a quote that was not included in the indictment.
In the two-minute audio recording, Trump and his aides also joke about Hillary Clinton’s emails after the former president says that the document was “secret information.”
“Hillary would print that out all the time, you know. Her private emails,” Trump’s staffer said.
“No, she’d send it to Anthony Weiner,” Trump responded, referring to the former Democratic congressman, prompting laughter in the room.
Trump’s statements on the audio recording, saying “these are the papers” and referring to something he calls “highly confidential” and seems to be showing others in the room, could undercut the former president’s claims in an interview last week with Fox News’ Bret Baier that he did not have any documents with him.
“There was no document. That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things,” Trump said on Fox. “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.”
Trump pleaded not guilty earlier this month to 37 counts related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
The audio recording comes from a July 2021 interview Trump gave at his Bedminster resort for people working on the memoir of Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff. The special counsel’s indictment alleges that those in attendance – a writer, publisher and two of Trump’s staff members – were shown classified information about the plan of attack on Iran.