‘NOW We Have A Problem’: Bombshell Transcript Shows Trump Raised Red Flags At Meeting Where He Discussed Classified Info

Donald Trump

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

During a recorded 2021 meeting at his Bedminster golf club, Donald Trump discussed classified documents he’d retained from his term in office, describing them as “secret” and saying they were “classified,” new reporting from CNN revealed. And now The New York Times adds that he directly stated he did not “declassify” them, and that others in the room with him recognized that this was not good.

The existence of that audio recording was first reported in May, but CNN broke the news on Friday the network had obtained a transcript, which included Trump’s potentially damning admission that the document in his possession was secret and remained classified.

Times reporter Maggie Haberman, citing a source familiar with the transcript, reported soon after the news broke that Trump was aware the materials were classified, acknowledged out loud that he had not declassified them, and that the implications of that information were apparent to others in the meeting.

That meeting, with people helping his former chief of staff with a book, has been previously reported but new details of Mr. Trump’s specific comments appear to demonstrate explicitly that he was aware that materials he had taken with him from the White House included classified information. The recording is expected to be a key piece of evidence in the case against him that the special counsel Jack Smith brought this week, with seven counts related to his possession of reams of classified material.

Mr. Trump also indicated he couldn’t show the document to the people in front of him — many if not all of whom didn’t have security clearances that would allow them to see sensitive government material — and added, “As president, I could have declassified them, now I can’t,” according to the person briefed on the matter, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Mr. Trump then said the document was “classified,” and a woman in the room replied, “Now we have a problem,” according to the person familiar with the recording.

Watch more from CNN’s on air report on the trasncript here.

You can also read CNN’s initial scoop here, and the NYT’s reporting here.

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Caleb Howe is an editor and writer focusing on politics and media. Former managing editor at RedState. Published at USA Today, Blaze, National Review, Daily Wire, American Spectator, AOL News, Asylum, fortune cookies, manifestos, napkins, fridge drawings...