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Washington, June 27 – An audio recording of a 2021 meeting has revealed former US President Donald Trump discussing holding secret documents he did not declassify after leaving the White House, a media report said.
In the two-minute recording exclusively obtained by CNN, Trump is heard riffling through papers and saying: “This is highly confidential.”
The recording includes new details from the conversation in Bedminster, New Jersey, which is a critical piece of evidence in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of Trump over the mishandling of the classified documents.
During the conversation, Trump is heard describing a document that he alleges is about possibly attacking Iran.
“He said that I wanted to attack Iran. Isn’t it amazing?” Trump says near the beginning of the clip.
“I have a big pile of papers, this thing just came up. Look,” he says.
“See as President I could have declassified it… Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret. These are the papers,” Trump says in the audio recording.
The former President and his aides also joke about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails after Trump 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.
This latest development comes a week after Trump told Fox News that that he did not have any documents with him, CNN reported.
“There was no document. That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things.
“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,” the former President was quoted as saying to Fox News.
Earlier this month, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 counts related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.