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Trump Has a New Explanation for Classified Documents Audio

by News7

Former President Donald Trump said the leaked audio tape of him allegedly showing a group of guests a classified Pentagon document at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was just “bravado” and that he “didn’t have any document” during the recorded chat, according to media reports.

Trump faced questions about the conversation a day after CNN published the recording that is considered a key component of the Department of Justice (DOJ) 37-count indictment against the former president accusing him of mishandling classified information after leaving the White House. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has repeatedly called the DOJ’s investigation a “hoax.”

During the two-minute tape, the former president is heard speaking about a “secret” military plan drafted up by General Mark Milley while meeting with one of Trump’s staffers and an author, and repeatedly tells his guests to “look” at the document in question. Trump is also heard acknowledging that he “could have declassified” the document in question while in office and tells the author that the portion of their conversation is “off the record.”

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday speaks in Concord, New Hampshire. The GOP presidential primary candidate told reporters that the leaked recording allegedly capturing him showing off a classified Pentagon document was nothing but “bravado.”
Scott Eisen/Getty Images
While speaking to ABC News’ Rachel Scott and Semafor’s Shelby Talcott on Tuesday, however, the former president claimed that he was not holding a document at all during the conversation and instead was “just holding up papers.”

“I would say it’s bravado,” Trump said, according to reports from both Scott and Talcott. “If you want to know the truth. It was bravado. I was talking and just holding up papers and talking about them, but I had no documents. I didn’t have any documents.”

Trump was also asked about his comments to Fox News earlier in the day, where the former president said that he “had a whole desk full of lots of papers, mostly newspaper articles, copies of magazines, copies of different plans … having to do with many, many subjects” during the conversation at Bedminster. Trump told Scott and Talcott that he was referring to “plans of a golf course” and “building plans.”

“My desk is loaded up with papers,” the former president continued, gesturing to a stack sitting nearby while Scott and Talcott conducted the interview from his plane. “I have papers from 25 different things … Look, look what I have. You see I have all different stuff interspersed with newspapers. There’s no highly, highly classified documents in there.”

The former president also told the reporters that he had “no regrets” regarding his handling of classified documents and repeated his assertion that he “didn’t have a classified document.”

Trump was also asked if he would consider a plea deal now that the audio tape had been leaked, to which the former president replied, “There’s not even a thought of doing that. Because I did nothing wrong.”

On Monday, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign told Newsweek that the audio recording “provides context proving, once again, that President Trump did nothing wrong at all” and said that Trump was “speaking rhetorically” during the conversation.

“The media and the Trump-haters once again were all too willing to take the bait, falling for another Democrat-DOJ hoax, hook, line, and sinker,” the spokesperson added.

Trump has also blamed the audio leak on Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the investigation against the former president and one of his aides, Walt Nauta.

Newsweek has reached out to the DOJ’s press office via email on Tuesday for comment.

Source : Newsweek

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