CNN plays tape of Trump appearing to show off military documents that he says are still classified

Former president Donald Trump was recorded in 2021 flaunting his possession of classified military documents, according to audio obtained by CNN.

In the recording, which allegedly came from a meeting at Mr Trump’s Bedminster golf club and estate, the former president can be heard audibly shuffling documents and describing his “big pile of papers” to associates.

“These are the papers,” Mr Trump says at one point, refering to a military document concerning Iran and US military joint chief of staff Mark Milley. “This was done by the military and given to me.”

“They presented me this—this is off the record,” Mr Trump appears to say at another point in the recording, describing the information he is showing to others as “highly confidential” and “secret.”

Mr Trump was indicted earlier this month and charged with 37 counts related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House, including willful retention of national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, corruptly concealing documents, concealing documents in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and making false statements.

In May, CNN reported that among the evidence prosecutors used to build their case against the former president was an audio recording of a summer 2021 meeting, in which Mr Trump allegedly acknowledged holding onto a classified Pentagon document detailing potential battle plans against Iran.

Donald Trump was indicted earlier this month for allegedly mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House

In the indictment, prosecutors quoted Mr Trump as saying the plan was “highly confidential,” “secret,” and that “as president, I could have declassified it.”

The ex-president was then supposedly recorded adding: “Now I can’t, you know, but it’s still a secret.”

In an interview with Fox News, Mr Trump denied possessing such a document.

“That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things,” he said. “And it may have been held up or it may not but that was not a document. I did not have a document per se.”

The Independent has contacted Donald Trump for comment.

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