Trump responds to alleged recording of him showing off 'secret' government information
He insisted that it wasn't "a document" but, possibly, news clips.
Despite what prosecutors claim in an unprecedented indictment against him, including an alleged recording of him saying otherwise, Donald Trump insisted on Monday that he hadn't shown a classified document to someone else after leaving the White House.
The former president was interviewed by Fox News' Bret Baier, who pressed Trump on one of the most notable parts of the indictment that outlines the 37 federal charges against him.
Prosecutors wrote in the indictment that on July 21, 2021, Trump allegedly showed what he called "secret information" to other people at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and acknowledged it was still classified and "highly confidential."
According to the indictment, Trump allegedly said the information was "done by the military and given to me" and appeared to indicate it was related to plans for attacking a foreign country.
The alleged exchange was recorded, prosecutors wrote.
On Fox News on Monday, however, Trump pushed back when Baier cited that part of the indictment.
"It wasn't a document, OK? I had lots of paper -- I had copies of newspaper articles, I had copies of magazines," he said.
“There was no document. 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," Trump said. "I didn't have a document per se. There was nothing to declassify. These were newspaper stories, magazine stories and articles.”
ABC News previously reported that the recording was made during part of a book interview Trump gave and was subsequently obtained by federal prosecutors.
ABC News also reported earlier this month that Trump's attorneys had not located the material Trump was referencing in the recording from 2021.
Trump has been indicted by federal prosecutors in Florida related to his alleged mishandling of government secrets after leaving the White House. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In a speech to supporters after being arraigned, he maintained that he "did everything right" and "I had every right to have these documents," an argument which has been disputed by outside legal experts.
Elsewhere in his interview on Fox News, Trump claimed to have no more classified records and falsely cited the Presidential Records Act as giving him permission to take the government records with him when he left office.
He said he took the documents because he was rushing during his move from the White House and wanted to go through his personal items.
“So, like every other president, I take things out. And in my case, I took it out pretty much in a hurry, but people packed it up and we left and I had clothing in there. I had all sorts of personal items,” he said.
"Because I had boxes -- I want to go through the boxes and get all my personal things out," he said.
He told Baier that he was running for president again "because I want to make America great again. We had great -- we were respected all over the world. Very simple."
He also said he wouldn’t want his children to be in his administration if he is reelected. Daughter Ivanka served as a senior adviser during his first term alongside her husband, Jared Kushner.
"It's too painful for the family," he said.
Should he win another term, he said that he wants to be “less combative.”
“I would like to be less combative, but I find the press is extremely dishonest," he said. "And if I'm not combative, I don't get my word across. If I'm not combative, I don't know. I don't think you could win."
During the interview, Trump criticized the Biden administration -- including on the economy and foreign policy -- and labeled the case against him as "weaponization" of the Department of Justice by the White House.
Special counsel Jack Smith, an independent prosecutor named last year by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the DOJ investigations of Trump, has defended the indictment.
"This indictment was voted by a grand jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida," he said earlier this month, "and I invite everyone to read it in full to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged."