In a stunning twist to the ongoing legal saga surrounding former President Donald Trump, new revelations have emerged from an audio recording that has sent shockwaves throughout the political landscape. According to reports from Semafor and ABC News, Trump now admits that he was lying when he previously claimed to possess secret information, captured on the recorded conversation.
The audio, which was recently obtained and aired by CNN, features Trump discussing what he referred to as classified documents relating to a potential battle plan for Iran. Speaking to a writer involved in a memoir by Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, the former president stated, “These are the papers. This was done by the military and given to me. See, as president I could have declassified it. Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
The conversation took place at Trump’s Bedminster golf resort and aligns with details described in the indictment filed against him. Trump currently faces 37 federal counts related to the alleged willful retention of classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Trump’s claims of having declassified all classified material in his possession after leaving office have been widely disputed. Legal experts from various backgrounds have criticized his defense, asserting that he did not have the authority to unilaterally determine the classification status of documents.
Attempting to manage the fallout from the audio’s release, Trump initially argued that it actually exonerated him and did not deny the connection between the documents and the military and Iran. However, in a surprising turn of events, he later adopted a new strategy, stating that he had lied during the recording.
During an interview with Semafor and ABC News aboard his plane, Trump dismissed his previous remarks as “bravado,” claiming he was merely holding up random papers and did not possess any classified documents. He asserted that his desk was cluttered with papers from various sources, further downplaying the significance of the incident.
Zoom in: As Trump tries to reclaim the White House while fighting off felony charges, people close to his team think he’ll eventually get back on Twitter — and that when he does, it will be with showmanship and a purpose.
A person close to Trump’s campaign cast the ex-president’s Twitter return as a tool his team could use to try to offset bad news — another indictment, for example.
That was the strategy this month in Miami, after Trump was arraigned on federal charges of mishandling classified documents. He blasted complaints on Truth Social, stopped by a popular Cuban restaurant, and later skewered his critics in a speech at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal has expressed his belief that Special Counsel Jack Smith is preparing to indict former President Donald Trump once again. Trump was recently indicted on 37 federal counts related to the retention of classified government documents upon leaving office. Smith alleges that Trump intentionally held onto these documents and obstructed efforts to retrieve them, while the former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In addition to the ongoing indictment, Smith is also investigating Trump’s involvement in the events surrounding January 6, 2021, when a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in an unsuccessful attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. This incident was fueled by Trump’s false claims of election fraud and the subsequent belief held by many of his supporters.
“You seem to have movement on fake electors, that there’s been a lot of moment there in terms of what it looks like Jack Smith potentially building a case there as well.”
Exactly,” he replied. “If this were a TV show, we’re like only in season two of what’s likely to be a five or six-season special at this point. Jack Smith is certainly moving – it looks to me – to indict Trump for Jan 6. The Secret Service, bringing them in to testify before the grand jury, is an extraordinary step.”
During an episode of The ReidOut, host Joy Reid asked Neal Katyal for his assessment of the progress of the investigation. Reid specifically mentioned the recent reporting that revealed five or six Secret Service agents had been questioned by a grand jury as part of the probe.