US media have uncovered an audio clip in which Donald Trump appears to admit to keeping a secret document after leaving the White House.
The former president is heard saying, “This is highly confidential,” as he leafs through some files on the recording.
The BBC has not independently verified it.
To federal allegations of handling confidential material improperly, Mr. Trump has entered a not guilty plea.
The two-minute footage was initially released by CNN, who claimed it was taken from an interview Mr. Trump conducted with authors of his former chief of staff Mark Meadows’ memoir in July 2021.
The phrase “these are the papers” is heard from Mr. Trump when he refers to a “highly confidential” document.
It seems to be an audio tape that federal prosecutors used as evidence when charging the former president.
In one case in July 2021 at his golf club in New Jersey, the prosecution claims he twice showed unqualified individuals secret documents, including a writer and two staff employees.
Mr. Trump is accused of illegally holding onto sensitive materials and thwarting government efforts to recover them on 37 counts.
He has asserted that all of the documents he stole from the White House were declassified and has denied any wrongdoing.
In the conversation, which CNN and the Washington Post both published on Monday, Mr. Trump can be heard detailing a paper that he claims discusses the possibility of striking Iran.
I wanted to strike Iran, he claimed. Isn’t it incredible? Near the beginning of the video, Mr. Trump remarks.
“This just came up, and I have a ton of papers. Look, he commands.
“See, as President, I could have declassified it,” he claims. “Now that I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
In a recent interview with Fox News, Mr. Trump refuted claims that he gave access to confidential data to others without authorization.
“No document was present. There were a ton of publications and other materials discussing Iran and other topics, Mr. Trump said.
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