CNN anchor Dana Bash pushed back on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan’s, R-Ohio, defense of former President Donald Trump after he was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Mar-a-Lago probe.
Jordan, a staunch MAGA ally, spoke with Bash about a recently leaked transcript of a recording obtained by CNN in which Trump reportedly admitted during a 2021 meeting that he had a “secret” document that he did not declassify.
“As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t,” Trump says, per the transcript, while discussing a document purportedly laying out plans to attack Iran.
Jordan downplayed the indictment as a “political operation,” citing Trump’s presidential power – while still in the Oval Office — to review and declassify documents, an excuse the former president has repeatedly clung to since special counsel Jack Smith was appointed to the Mar-a-Lago probe by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2022.
Dismissing the recently surfaced audio recording and assuredly stating Trump had declassified all the documents he had, Jordan said “I go on the president’s word,” when Bash pressed him to show evidence for his claims.
“When he was president, he declassified the material! He’s been very clear about that!” Jordan said.
“But he says, point blank, on tape as president I could have declassified it. Now I can’t. He says in his own words,” Bash countered. “It’s on tape as part of this indictment that he did not declassify the material. Therefore, it is classified.”
“Dana saying he could have is not the same as saying he didn’t,” Jordan replied.
“He said now I can’t,” Bash insisted.
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“Now he can’t, right, because he is not president now, but when he was president, he did declassify it,” said Jordan.
“Which means what he was holding was classified!” Bash shot back.
“No!” Jordan claimed. “Not if he declassified it when he was President of the United States for goodness’ sake.”
“But he’s saying point blank in this audio tape he did not declassify it,” Bash retorted. “What you’re saying just doesn’t make sense on its face.”
about the Trump indictment