Former President Donald Trump blasted those who accused him of being reckless in handling classified documents, telling Fox News that he did not have materials containing sensitive national security information.
Interviewed by anchor Bret Baier, the former president was asked about a claim in the recent federal indictment that he had the “Iran Attack Plan” at his Florida home. Trump flatly denied he had these documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Instead, he said he had “lots of paper. I had copies of newspaper articles. I had copies of magazines. I had copies of everything.”
Baier persisted, noting the indictment claims Trump was recorded saying the materials in his possession were “highly confidential” and admitting that he knew he could not declassify them.
Trump agreed that he could no longer declassify the documents but doubled down on his assertion that the Iran papers were not at his home.
— New York Post (@nypost) June 20, 2023
The former president declared, “there was no document. There 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.”
The recorded statement and waving of papers alleged by the indictment was in July 2021, about six months after the end of his presidency. Trump was speaking with aides for his former chief of staff Mark Meadows.
At that point, Trump was in conflict with Gen. Mark Milley, who previously expressed worry that the then-president would attack Iran in an attempt to stay in the White House.
That and many other predictions of military actions under the Republican president never materialized, of course.
Trump reportedly told the aides that he possessed proof that it was Milley who wanted to attack the Middle Eastern nation and not the president. It was then, according to the indictment, that he waved the papers.
It is important to note that Trump does not deny waving papers, but he emphatically contradicts accusations that he had highly classified documents at the gathering.
The former president faces 31 federal counts of unlawful retention of national security information and six other counts pertaining to the materials seized at his Florida home by the FBI.