Former President Donald Trump insists that he did “nothing wrong” as he reacted to a leaked recording of him apparently discussing what he described as “highly confidential” documents in his possession post-presidency.
Trump, the commanding front-runner in the latest GOP presidential nomination polls as he runs a third straight time for the White House, argued in a Fox News Digital interview on Tuesday that “this is just another hoax.”
“I would say election interference more than anything else. It’s a disgrace that they can do it,” Trump said. “Everything was fine. We did nothing wrong and everybody knows it.”
Trump was indicted and arraigned earlier this month for his alleged improper retention of classified records. He pleaded not guilty in federal court to criminal charges that he illegally retained national security records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach following the end of his term in office, and that he obstructed federal efforts to recover the documents. In total, Trump faces 37 felony charges.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier last week, the former president said that “there was no document” and that he was just discussing news clippings.
But an audio recording obtained by CNN appears to show Trump discussing classified materials during a July 2021 meeting at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The former president is heard saying, “These are the papers,” while he’s apparently discussing top secret U.S. military attack plans on Iran. Trump claimed on the tape that the plan came from Pentagon officials.
On the recording, Trump is also heard saying “it’s so cool,” and that the information was classified and “highly confidential.” The conversation is believed to be a key piece of evidence in the special counsel’s indictment against the former president.
Asked by Fox Digital how the audio recording squares with what he told Baier last week, Trump answered: “I said it very clearly – I had a whole deskful of lots of papers, mostly newspaper articles, copies of magazines, copies of different plans, copies of stories, having to do with many, many subjects, and what was said was absolutely fine and very perfectly. We did nothing wrong. This is a whole hoax.”
Fox Digital followed up by asking the former president if he was concerned about the audio recording.
“My voice was fine. What did I say wrong on those recordings. I didn’t even see the recording. All I know is I did nothing wrong.” Trump said. “We had a lot of papers, a lot of papers stacked up. In fact, you hear the rustle of the paper. And nobody said that I did anything wrong other than the fake news which is Fox too.”
Asked if there were any other recordings that may materialize, Trump said: “I don’t know of any recordings that we should concerned with because I don’t do things wrong. I do things right. I’m a legitimate person.”
And taking aim at President Biden, Trump charged “I’m not like Biden that gets hundreds of millions of dollars from people and countries.”
“We do things right so I don’t care about any recordings,” Trump added.
The former president was interviewed in Concord, New Hampshire ahead of his keynote address ot the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women’s annual fundraising gala.