Donald Trump Says ‘Secret’ Doc He Described on Tape Referred to Information Clippings


Former President Donald J. Trump claimed to a Fox Information anchor in an interview on Monday that he didn’t have a labeled doc with him in a gathering with a ebook writer though he referred throughout that assembly to “secret” info in his possession.

The July 2021 assembly — at Mr. Trump’s golf membership in Bedminster, N.J. — was recorded by at the very least two individuals in attendance, and a transcript describes the former president pointing to a pile of papers after which saying of Gen. Mark A. Milley, whom he had been criticizing: “Look. This was him. They introduced me this — that is off the file, however — they introduced me this. This was him. This was the Protection Division and him.”

On the recording, in response to two individuals conversant in its contents, Mr. Trump will be heard flipping by way of papers as he talks to a writer and author engaged on a ebook by his remaining White Home chief of workers, Mark Meadows. Mr. Trump and the individuals within the assembly don’t explicitly say what doc the previous president is holding.

In keeping with the transcript, Mr. Trump describes the doc, which he claims reveals Common Milley’s need to assault Iran, as “secret” and “like, extremely confidential.” He additionally declares that “as president, I might have declassified it,” including, “Now I can’t, you already know, however that is nonetheless a secret.”

However within the interview on Monday, with the Fox Information anchor Bret Baier, Mr. Trump denied that he had been referring to an precise doc and claimed to have merely been referring to information clippings and journal items.

“There was no doc,” Mr. Trump insisted. “That was a large quantity of papers and all the things else speaking about Iran and different issues. And it could have been held up or could not, however that was not a doc. I didn’t have a doc per se. There was nothing to declassify. These had been newspaper tales, journal tales and articles.”

Apparently taking part in down the data from the recording, he added, “I don’t assume that I’ve ever seen a doc from Milley.”

The audio recording is a key piece of proof in an indictment charging Mr. Trump with illegally holding on to 31 delicate authorities paperwork, a few of which had been extremely labeled and included details about U.S. nuclear and army capabilities. The indictment was filed this month by Jack Smith, a particular counsel appointed by the Justice Division, in Federal District Court docket in Miami. The indictment additionally accused Mr. Trump of conspiring with one of his aides, Walt Nauta, to evade a grand jury subpoena issued final Might for all labeled materials in his possession.

An outline of a typewritten doc by Common Milley seems in Mr. Meadows’s ebook, unattributed and said as reality.

Felony defendants often keep away from talking publicly about particulars of any costs of their case, for worry of their remarks getting used in opposition to them. The interview was broadcast on the identical day {that a} federal Justice of the Peace choose in Mr. Trump’s case issued a protecting order instructing him to not reveal any proof that had been turned over to his authorized workforce as a part of the invention course of.

Whereas the interview didn’t appear to violate that order, his remarks represented a few of his most expansive feedback in regards to the practically two years that federal officers spent making an attempt to retrieve materials from his presidency that belongs to the federal government. The feedback had been additionally the most recent in a string of shifting tales that he and his allies have provided because it grew to become public that officers on the Nationwide Archives and Information Administration recovered 15 bins of fabric from Mr. Trump in January 2022.

Earlier within the interview with Mr. Baier, Mr. Trump appeared to concede that even after the Justice Division issued a subpoena final 12 months for all labeled paperwork in his possession, he delayed complying with it with a purpose to separate any private information which may have been amongst them.

“Earlier than I ship bins over, I’ve to take all of my issues out,” Mr. Trump stated. “These bins had been interspersed with all types of issues.”

Mr. Trump additionally acknowledged that he didn’t instantly adjust to an earlier request to return authorities information to the archives, telling Mr. Baier that he gave the archives “some” and sustaining, “I used to be very busy, as you’ve type of seen.”

A spokesman for Mr. Trump didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

In February 2022, after the general public discovered that Mr. Trump had returned labeled materials to the archives, the previous president directed aides to challenge a press release saying he had returned all the things to the federal government. The ultimate assertion the Trump workforce launched didn’t make this declare.

However the draft model of that assertion grew to become a spotlight of prosecutors who had been getting into proof and listening to testimony earlier than a grand jury in Florida, in response to two individuals conversant in the matter.

Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination for 2024, and his allies have provided evolving explanations for his possession of labeled materials and repeated refusals to return it. He has insisted the paperwork all belonged to him as private information. He has additionally claimed that he declassified all the things he eliminated earlier than it left the White Home, by way of a so-called standing order that materials was declassified when it left the Oval Workplace to go to the White Home residence. Former senior White Home officers stated no such order existed.

And final month, Mr. Trump’s legal professionals wrote a letter to Congress saying that his workers “shortly packed all the things into bins and shipped them to Florida,” leaving the impression that Mr. Trump himself didn’t undergo the fabric and was unaware of what was within the bins after they had been packed.

The indictment contradicted that declare, with prosecutors saying that Mr. Trump was “personally concerned on this course of” and “brought about his bins, containing tons of of labeled paperwork, to be transported from the White Home to the Mar-a-Lago membership.”

In his interview with Mr. Baier, the previous president indicated that he did type by way of some bins after they had been despatched from Washington to Mar-a-Lago, his non-public membership and residence in Florida.

At one level, Mr. Baier requested Mr. Trump why he didn’t merely hand the fabric over.

“I need to undergo the bins and get all my private issues out,” Mr. Trump stated. “I don’t need to hand that over to NARA but.”


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