Audio of a conversation in which former President Trump allegedly “waved around” a classified document — a piece of evidence that has been referred to as a “smoking gun” by left-wing legal analysts and leaders — has been leaked to CNN.
The indictment against the former president alleges that he nonchalantly showed off a classified document detailing a Pentagon plan for an attack on Iran. A partial transcript of the audio was included in the indictment, though the actual recording had not been released until Monday.
In the audio only snippet leaked to CNN, Trump can be heard ruffling through some papers while disparaging General Mark Milley. “This was him, can you believe this?” Trump can be heard saying.
“I have a big pile of papers,” Trump said followed by what sounds of ruffling through papers. At one point he said “this is secret,” adding that he had the power to declassify documents as president.
The details of the conversation remain unclear, and since the clip is audio only, it is impossible to know which papers, if any, were held up and “waved around.”
In an interview with Fox News last week, Trump was asked about the then-unreleased audio recording. Trump vehemently denied accusations that he “waved around” a classified document about the plan, stating that he was instead quoting an article.
“There was no document,” Trump said. “That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things. And it may have been held up or may not, but that was not a document. I didn’t have a document per se. There was nothing to declassify. These were newspaper stories, magazine stories, and articles.”