Trump was filmed saying he should have declassified a document on Iran, undermining his claims about the declassification of the Mar-a-Lago newspapers

Former President Donald Trump was reportedly caught on an audio tape lamenting his failure to declassify a secret plan for possible US military attacks on Iran – contradicting his claims that he declassified all the documents he took from the White House.

The Guardian reported on Thursday that Trump was taped telling associates at his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ, that he wished he could show them the document, but was barred from doing so because it was classified.

The admission would give prosecutors powerful ammunition that Trump did not declassify the cache of documents he took to his Mar-a-Lago resort — and that he knew it.

Trump slammed the new revelations Thursday as a politically motivated hoax, though he did not deny any of the claims.

“The Illegal Leak…The story of the document is a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time,” Trump wrote on his social media site.

The existence of the damning audio tape was first reported by CNN on Wednesday. The network says Special Counsel Jack Smith has a copy and that prosecutors have questioned several witnesses about it before the grand jury investigating Trump’s improper handling of classified documents.

Trump reportedly waved the classified document and discussed it in the summer of 2021 with researchers for a memoir by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

The former president wanted to use the document to undermine the credibility of General Mark Milley, who had fallen out with the former president during his tumultuous final days in the White House.

Showing classified documents, especially sensitive documents describing potential foreign adversaries, to third parties who lack the proper security clearances would likely violate the Espionage Act.

Knowingly refusing to return them to the federal government when they are served with a subpoena would be evidence of obstruction of justice.

The document used by Trump was apparently one of dozens of secret documents he took with him to his Mar-a-Lago resort after leaving the White House.

During Bedminster’s interview, Trump said the document revealed that Milley supported attacking Iran with overwhelming force, contradicting the general’s later assertion that he opposed hostilities with Tehran.

Trump pointed to the discrepancy as a way to poke fun at Milley, who embarrassed Trump by revealing to his military colleagues not to carry out certain Trump orders after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

If the account of the audio tape and the classified document proves to be accurate, it would be one of the most important pieces of evidence against Trump in the classified documents case yet.

It would also help explain Trump’s motive for refusing to return the documents after the federal government demanded them.

Smith is said to have almost finished presenting evidence to the grand jury, which has not met for three weeks. Published reports indicate that he may decide to seek the indictment of Trump and possibly others in the “days or weeks” to come.

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