Thursday, June 01, 2023
Web Desk

Trump's audio tape sheds light on veiled secret: CNN

Web Desk
Secret recording captures Trumps admission of classified Iran document. AFP/File
Secret recording captures Trump's admission of classified Iran document. AFP/File

Federal prosecutors have got an audio recording from 2021 in which former US President Donald Trump admits to keeping a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran after leaving the White House, according to CNN

The recording reportedly shows that Trump was aware he had retained classified material and understood the limitations on his ability to declassify documents after his presidency ended. 

The recording is considered an important piece of evidence in the ongoing investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents and his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

The meeting where Trump discussed the document took place at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and involved individuals working on the autobiography of Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows, as well as other aides employed by the former president. 

The recording has raised concerns about Trump's legal exposure and contradicts his claims that he declassified all relevant documents. Prosecutors have questioned witnesses about the recording and the document before a federal grand jury, including General Mark Milley, one of the highest-ranking national security officials from Trump's administration.

The revelation of the audio recording adds to the scrutiny on Trump's actions regarding classified documents, not only those recovered from his Mar-a-Lago resort but also what transpired at Bedminster. Trump's varying explanations for retaining classified materials have created confusion, with initial claims of a standing declassification order, followed by statements that he could declassify things "just by thinking about it." 

Trump's legal team has argued that materials were inadvertently packed up at the end of his administration, while Trump himself has claimed that the materials were automatically declassified when he took them.

The investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith into Trump's handling of classified documents and the attempt to overturn the election results is reportedly nearing its end. 

The recording provides further evidence for prosecutors as they examine Trump's actions and potential legal violations.