Former President Donald Trump told NBC News he’ll testify in the classified documents criminal case that he did not order a Mar-a-Lago staffer to delete security video.
Trump and two of his employees in late July were charged with obstruction over the attempt to delete footage from Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate.
Trump told NBC News that he did not order staff members to delete the security video.
“That’s false,” Trump told “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker about the allegation.
Asked if he would testify to that under oath, Trump said, “Sure, I’m going to — I’ll testify.
“But more importantly, the tapes weren’t deleted. In other words, there was nothing done to them. And they were my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them the tapes, I don’t think.”
Trump, his valet, Walt Nauta, and Carlos De Oliveira, a maintenance supervisor at Mar-a-Lago, were charged with obstruction. Each pleaded not guilty.
“I think I would have won in court,” Trump told Welker. “When they asked for the tapes, I said, ‘Sure.’ They’re my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them. Just so you understand, though, we didn’t delete anything. Nothing was deleted.”
Prosecutors allege that Nauta and De Oliveira asked a third, unnamed staffer to delete security video after investigators issued a subpoena ordering that the tapes be turned over.
Nauta and De Oliveira allegedly told the third staff member that “the boss” had requested that the security video be deleted, the indictment alleged.
Trump in June pleaded not guilty to mishandling classified documents. The charges ranged from violations of the Espionage Act to illegally retaining national security documents about nuclear programs, defense and weapons capabilities, and a Pentagon “attack plan.”
Trump also told NBC News that it’s “very unlikely” he would pardon himself if he were to win the 2024 general election.
Trump, facing four separate trials, told Welker that he’s done nothing wrong in any of them.
“I think it’s very unlikely,” he told Welker about a self-pardon. “What, what did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong. You mean, because I challenge an election, they want to put me in jail?”
The “Meet the Press” interview, taped Thursday, will air Sunday.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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