Mar-a-Lago Member Claims Trump Gave Him Insider Details About His Phone Calls With World Leaders
In a recent development, former President Donald Trump is under new scrutiny in a case involving classified documents. A prosecution witness claims that Trump gave Anthony Pratt, an Australian billionaire and member of his Mar-a-Lago club, sensitive information regarding private conversations with the leaders of Ukraine and Iraq.
The claims were revealed in recordings that were obtained by The New York Times and 60 Minutes Australia, in which Pratt openly recalled his conversations with Trump. These recordings support earlier allegations that Trump had a disposition to share secret information, especially with people outside the political and intelligence communities.
Pratt, the chairman of a global paper and packaging company and billionaire, made a concerted effort to connect with Trump's inner circle. Pratt's ascent into Trump's social and political sphere happened around the time of the 2020 election. He joined Mar-a-Lago, offered to reserve lodging for Trump's election party, and publicly praised the former president.
One of the two federal criminal cases that special counsel Jack Smith filed against the former president eventually centered on Pratt's interactions with Trump. In these cases, Trump is charged with taking sensitive documents out of the White House and thwarting efforts to get them back. In the upcoming trial, which is scheduled for next year, Pratt has been named as a potential witness who might testify against Trump, per CNN.
Pratt's testimony during his interviews with prosecutors generated significant national security concerns. He allegedly revealed that Trump had previously made a highly sensitive disclosure regarding American nuclear submarines, reported by ABC News. Another witness also reported hearing unconfirmed rumors that Pratt had paid a sizable sum for tickets to a Mar-a-Lago New Year's Eve gala, even though the tickets allegedly cost much less than the sum paid.
Pratt's entrance into Trump's inner circle came about relatively late, with his ardent support for Trump only becoming apparent after the 2016 presidential election. While Pratt, a foreign citizen, was unable to donate to Trump's inauguration, his spouse, Claudine Revere, gave $1 million to the event instead of joining Mar-a-Lago. In response to Trump's policies, he promised to invest $2 billion to create manufacturing jobs, primarily in the Midwest. The partnership was advantageous for both parties as Trump supported Pratt's initiatives and boosted his wealth by lowering corporate taxes, per The New York Times.
"Behind closed doors, however, Mr. Pratt described Mr. Trump’s business practices as being “like the mafia,” according to covert recordings obtained by “60 Minutes Australia” and shared with The Times" https://t.co/zz2T6OIpAy— Nick Field (@nick_field90) October 22, 2023
In addition to revealing Pratt's account of Trump's disclosures, the recordings also give a glimpse into Pratt's open, private thoughts regarding Trump's actions. On the recordings, Pratt describes Trump as someone who "says outrageous things nonstop" and contrasts his business methods with "the mafia." Pratt contends that Trump is adept at straddling the lines of the law while appearing to skirt the edges.
Pratt recalled how Trump had disclosed specifics of his conversation with the Iraqi leader in December 2019, which took place following a U.S. military strike in the area, in these private conversations. Pratt also disclosed Trump's casual demeanor during his contentious phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in September 2019. Trump hasn't refuted the conversations that are captured on tape. Trump said that Pratt is “from a friendly country in Australia, one of our great allies." His representative claimed in statements to The New York Times that Pratt's accusations "lack proper context."
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