Former President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that he was not displaying off categorised paperwork in an audio clip first revealed by CNN wherein he referred to “extremely confidential” materials and “secret data” that he may not declassify.
“I’d say it was bravado, if you wish to know the reality, it was bravado,” Trump mentioned in an interview aboard his aircraft with Semafor and ABC Information. “I used to be speaking and simply holding up papers and speaking about them, however I had no paperwork. I didn’t have any paperwork.”
The newest feedback advised a brand new potential authorized argument from the previous president: That he was overselling the fabric he was displaying to an aide and other people engaged on a biography of former chief of employees Mark Meadows within the recording, a transcript of which featured closely in his latest federal indictment.
“I simply held up an entire pile of — my desk is loaded up with papers. I’ve papers from 25 various things,” he mentioned, including he stored related information articles about subjects like Iran readily available.
At one level, Trump gestured to the seat subsequent to him on the aircraft, the place a stack of varied papers — newspapers, copies of his speech, printouts of articles — sat. He grabbed some from the pile and positioned them in entrance of him, shifting them round as he spoke and providing up a bodily reenactment of what he mentioned was occurring on the audio tape.
Requested about his use of the phrase “plans” throughout a Fox Information interview earlier Tuesday to explain some objects he could have highlighted within the 2021 assembly, Trump insisted he was referring to “constructing plans” and plans for golf programs strewn about his desk.
“Did I take advantage of the phrase plans?” he mentioned. “What I’m referring to is magazines, newspapers, plans of buildings. I had plans of buildings. You already know, constructing plans? I had plans of a golf course.”
Requested if he had any regrets about his dealing with of categorised paperwork, Trump mentioned he didn’t.
“No, I’ve no regrets,” he mentioned. “I did not have a categorised doc. There was no categorised doc on my desk.”
Requested whether or not the audio would have an effect on whether or not he considers a plea deal, Trump mentioned he was assured that the federal government’s use of the Espionage Act to prosecute him would fail and repeated unverified accusations in opposition to President Biden earlier than ending the interview.
“Frankly, that you simply even ask a query like that is a shame,” he mentioned. “So let’s finish it.”