Maddow Calls Trump’s Taped Admission He Had Classified Documents ‘A Prosecutor’s Dream’ (Video)

“That’s crazy, right?” MSNBC host says about recording of Trump admitting he wasn’t allowed to declassify documents

On Monday, CNN obtained a copy of audio recordings, likely to be admitted as evidence against Donald Trump in his upcoming federal trial, in which the ex-president literally admitted to doing the thing he’s being prosecuted for. Over on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow was quite amused by the whole thing.

Joking that the clip displayed “cartoon-level” wrongdoing, Maddow called it “a prosecutor’s dream” as she went over the recording bit by bit.

For a brief catch-up, after Trump was indicted on 37 counts related to his illegal possession of classified documents after leaving the White House and the lengths he went to deceive government officials about it, it was reported that there were audio recordings of Trump backing the prosecution’s case.

Specifically, Trump has for nearly a year claimed that he had the power to declassify the documents in his possession even after leaving the White House and that he could do so just by thinking about it. But in the recording in question, published by CNN on Monday, Trump, while showing classified documents to an aide who is not authorized to see them, admitted that he was no longer able to declassify them and also indicated that he knew he wasn’t supposed to possess them.

“That’s crazy, right?” Maddow said Monday night after playing the full two-minute clip. “I mean, if you were inventing cartoon-level ‘you did it wrong’ allegations for somebody mishandling classified information, you’d dream this up as a hypothetical to teach 1L law students, right? ‘Imagine there was a tape in which the accused said, ‘Now I’m not supposed to be showing this to you. It’s really secret, but look here it is.’

“It’s a prosecutor’s dream to have something like this on tape,” Maddow continued. “But all we could see in the indictment was prosecutors’ allegation that this tape existed, and that on this tape, Trump said those things.”

Maddow added that “as an allegation, it’s damning.” But now, she went on, the recording — which she clarified has not been authenticated yet by NBC — essentially proves it.

“If what CNN has obtained is legit, what it appears to be is the tape that’s described in the indictment,” Maddow said. “The evidence that helped lay the groundwork for special counsel Jack Smith to indict Donald Trump.”

Other highlights of the audio tape include Trump saying, “See, as president I could have declassified it, now I can’t you know, but this is still secret,” followed by his aide saying, “Now we have a problem.” And it ends with Trump saying, “It’s so cool. Can we get some cokes?”

“Bring some cokes in please,” Maddow said after the clip ended. “That does give it at least the ring of authenticity, doesn’t it?”

“It’s one thing to sort of read these words as part of the indictment. It’s another thing to hear it,” Maddow said. “Another key part of [the case] against Trump is proving not only that Trump had these documents in his possession, but he knew that it was no longer in his power as an ex-president to declassify them. Right? So, again, part of his, sort of the purported defense, or part of his attempted defense, if he could even call it that, it doesn’t even seem that coherent, is to say, ‘Yes, these things were classified, but I used my mind to declassify them. Here he is on tape admitting that he does not have the power to declassify these things.”

Before the segment ended, Maddow played the part again where Trump said, “It’s so cool,” then responded by saying, “It’s a lot of things. Not sure cool was like in the top 6,000. But this is definitely the kind of thing that sounds like it should end up in a federal criminal indictment. I’ll give you that.”

Watch the full clip of Maddow in the video above.