Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
A Very Ugly Week for Republicans Just Got A Lot Uglier
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Yesterday I wrote about the GOP’s terrible week - House meltdown, Trump, backlash to DeSantis in Florida/TX/CA, border follies….May be the single worst non-election week for a political party that I’ve seen since arriving in DC more than 30 years ago.
This morning it got worse. From CNN:
Former President Donald Trump acknowledged on tape in a 2021 meeting that he had retained “secret” military information that he had not declassified, according to a transcript of the audio recording obtained by CNN.
“As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t,” Trump says, according to the transcript.
CNN obtained the transcript of a portion of the meeting where Trump is discussing a classified Pentagon document about attacking Iran. In the audio recording, which CNN previously reported was obtained by prosecutors, Trump says that he did not declassify the document he’s referencing, according to the transcript.
Trump was indicted Thursday on seven counts in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the mishandling of classified documents. Details from the indictment have not been made public, so it unknown whether any of the seven counts refer to the recorded 2021 meeting. Still, the tape is significant because it shows that Trump had an understanding the records he had with him at Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House remained classified.
Publicly, Trump has claimed that all the documents he brought with him to his Florida residence are declassified, while he’s railed against the special counsel’s investigation as a political witch hunt attempting to interfere with his 2024 presidential campaign.
CNN first reported last week that prosecutors had obtained the audio recording of Trump’s 2021 meeting at his Bedminster, New Jersey, resort, with two people working on the autobiography of Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows as well as aides employed by the former president, including communications specialist Margo Martin.
The transcript of the audio recording suggests that Trump is showing the document he’s discussing to those in the room. Several sources have told CNN the recording captures the sound of paper rustling, as if Trump was waving the document around, though is not clear if it was the actual Iran document.
“Secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this,” Trump says at one point, according to the transcript. “This was done by the military and given to me.”
This is Trump, on tape, admitting that he knew a highly sensitive military document in his hands at that moment was “secret” and not something he could declassify. The recording is a proverbial smoking gun.
And when Rs start looking around at that other guy, this is what they see (via Civiqs) - yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s MAGA ugly no matter where you look right now.
Meanwhile, on planet normal, a few things:
My monthly showing of With Democrats Things Get Better is today at 1pm EST. Learn more about this important presentation and RSVP here.
Enjoy this very encouraging new Twitter thread about the exponential growth of renewable energy here and all around the world.
Last Friday we got another great jobs report. This economy is strong, inflation is coming down, the deficit is way down, things are better. This week we got this bit of good news (h/t Steve Rattner):
Here’s a good primer on the Supreme Court’s Alabama voting rights decision. Will likely give Dems 4-5 seats net. Perhaps more. It’s good news.
Keep working hard all and look forward to catching some of you at 1pm EST! - Simon