Donald Trump, the former president, is allegedly heard bragging about having a classified document during a 2021 meeting in an audio recording that was made public by US media on Monday.
Trump acknowledged in the nearly two-minute recording, which was first broadcast by CNN, that he failed to declassify it before leaving office.
At his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, he had a conversation with two staff members, the publisher, and the author of his upcoming book.
Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was mentioned by Donald Trump when he claimed to have a classified Pentagon document that contained plans to attack Iran.
"Well, with Milley – let me see that. I’ll show you an example," Trump can be heard.
"He said that I wanted to attack Iran – isn’t it amazing? I have a big pile of papers. This thing just came up, look. This was him. They presented me this," he says, reshuffling the papers.
"It is like highly confidential, secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this. You attack and…" said Trump.
"See, as president, I could have declassified, but now I can't, you know. But this is classic," Trump was heard saying. "Isn't that interesting? It's so cool."
Special counsel Jack Smith used a meeting recording as evidence in his indictment of President Trump and his aide Walt Nauta.
On June 14, federal prosecutors filed 37 counts against Trump in relation to his alleged retention of classified government records after leaving office. Trump entered a not-guilty plea to all of them.
He claimed on June 19 that no secret materials were present when the recording was made.
As soon as the recording was made public, Trump criticized Smith on social media.
"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," he said.
"This continuing Witch Hunt is another ELECTION INTERFERENCE Scam. They are cheaters and thugs!" he wrote.