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Tape of Trump's classified documents discussion leaked; he blames DOJ

An audio recording of Trump's conversation about classified documents surfaced Monday, helping to fill in details left out in his indictment.
Posted at 7:36 AM, Jun 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-27 07:36:20-04

An audio recording of former President Donald Trump discussing classified documents at his New Jersey residence in 2021 was leaked on Monday. The recording was aired Monday evening by CNN.

While a portion of the audio tape included a conversation transcribed in a 37-count indictment against Trump, other details in the recording surfaced. 

The indictment included 37 criminal charges against Trump. The most serious of the charges allege that Trump mishandled classified documents after leaving office. 

This audio recording became a key piece of evidence in the indictment against Trump. 

According to the indictment, Trump gave an interview to a writer and publisher about an upcoming book. The special counsel's indictment said the conversation was recorded with Trump's consent. 

The recording confirms that Trump was discussing attack plans for Iran developed by Mark Milley, Trump's chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The recording also gave some insight into a section of the conversation omitted by prosecutors in the indictment. 

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This was the conversation, as transcribed by the special counsel's office:

TRUMP: Well, with [the Senior Military Official]-uh, let me see that, I'll show you an example. He said that I wanted to attack [Country A]. 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.

Wow.

We looked at some. This was him. This wasn't done by me, this was him. All sorts of stuff-pages long, look.

STAFFER: Mm.

TRUMP: Wait a minute, let's see here.

STAFFER: [Laughter] Yeah.

TRUMP: I just found, isn't that amazing? This totally wins my case, you know.

STAFFER: Mm-hm

TRUMP: Except it is like, highly confidential.

STAFFER: YEAH [Laughter]

TRUMP: Secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this. You attack, and - 

TRUMP: By the way. Isn't that incredible?

STAFFER: Yeah.

TRUMP: I was just thinking, because we were talking about it. And you know, he said, "he wanted to attack [Country A], and what . . ."

STAFFER: You did.

TRUMP: This was done by the military and given to me. Uh, I think we can probably, right?

STAFFER: I don't know, we'll, we'll have to see. Yeah, we'll have to try to-

TRUMP: Declassify it.

STAFFER: -figure out a-yeah.

TRUMP: See as president I could have declassified it.

STAFFER: Yeah. [Laughter]

TRUMP: Now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret.

STAFFER: Yeah. [Laughter] Now we have a problem.

TRUMP: Isn't that interesting?

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The ellipses contained in the middle of the transcription included a brief conversation about Hillary Clinton and Anthony Weiner. 

"Hillary would print that out all the time," the staffer said. 

"And send it to Anthony Weiner, the pervert," Trump retorted. 

The last seconds of the recording also included details not included in the indictment. 

“It’s so cool. I mean, it’s so, look, her and I, and you probably almost didn’t believe me, but now you believe me," Trump said. 

Trump responded to the revealed recording on his Truth Social media account Monday evening, claiming it was leaked by Special Counsel Jack Smith. 

"The Deranged Special Prosecutor, Jack Smith, working in conjunction with the DOJ & FBI, illegally leaked and "spun" a tape and transcript of me which is actually an exoneration, rather than what they would have you believe," Trump wrote.