CNN revealed on Monday an audio recording that federal prosecutors included in their indictment against former President Donald Trump, which allegedly demonstrates him disclosing "secret information" to a writer and a publisher.
The network previously reported on a transcript of this conversation.
The audio captures Trump, during a recorded interview, revealing "secret information" that he did not declassify during his presidency. Trump can be heard sorting through papers and indicating what he claims was a confidential plan of attack on Iran, supposedly given to him by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley.
“This was done by the military and given to me,” Trump is heard saying. He added, “See, as president, I could have declassified it. Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
Following the release of this recording, Trump suggested that Special Counsel Jack Smith was responsible for the leak, while not refuting the audio's authenticity. Trump expressed his outrage on social media, labeling the ongoing investigation as another "ELECTION INTERFERENCE Scam" and calling the investigators "cheaters and thugs."
“It wasn’t a document,” Trump added in his post on Truth Social. “I had lots of paper. I had copies of newspaper articles. I had copies of magazines.”
Contradicting the claims made in the recording, Trump told Fox News anchor Bret Baier last week that he did not share classified documents with unauthorized individuals. He insisted that the papers he had were copies of newspaper articles and magazines, not a classified document.
Baier pressed Trump on the recording, noting his words about the document being "secret" and his inability to declassify it post-presidency. Trump denied these assertions, leading Baier to question why he would retain classified information if he couldn't declassify it.
In response, Trump reiterated his inability to declassify such material when not in office and insisted, once more, that there was no classified document involved.