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Trump news - live: Trump slammed for campaign ad amid silence on reports of bombshell classified papers tape

Related: The competition squaring up to Donald Trump

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In a bombshell development in the classified documents case against Donald Trump, federal prosecutors have reportedly obtained an audio recording from a summer 2021 meeting in which the former president acknowledges he held onto a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran.

The recording indicates that Mr Trump knew the papers were retained after he left the White House and suggests he would like to share the information but is aware of limitations on his ability to declassify records post-presidency.

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating the matter, is also looking at Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

In a new development, Mr Smith is examining the ex-president’s firing of cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, whose office said the vote was secure, The New York Times reports. Mr Krebs was fired by Mr Trump shortly after the election.

Meanwhile, as more Republican contenders join the party’s primary race, Mr Trump has been busy ridiculing them with cruel memes and jokes on Truth Social, singling out Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie overnight. His former veep Mike Pence is expected to announce his candidacy next week.


Trump v McEnany: Why did he turn on his once great defender?

Ms McEnany, who served as the former president’s fourth press secretary, was known as one of his most loyal aides and staunch defenders, something she continued when she joined Fox News as a contributor after he lost the 2020 election and left office.

Nevertheless, the former president pulled no punches in a Truth Social Post, complaining about a segment in which he claims she misreported his lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Why did the former president so dismissively insult one of his most loyal White House aides? Oliver O’Connell charts the pair’s path


Trump returns to campaign trail in Iowa as DeSantis makes case in New Hampshire

Here’s a look at the Republican front-runners next moves as the primary GOP race begins to take shape.

Former President Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail Thursday as his chief rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is undertaking his first swing through early voting states as an official candidate


Trump employee who moved classified papers at Mar-a-Lago ‘also questioned surveillance video’

A Mar-a-Lago employee who helped move boxes of classified documents the day before Justice Department investigators visited Donald Trump’s home also reportedly asked questions about the property’s security cameras.

Graeme Massie picks up the story.

Former president’s handling of classified material at his Florida home being probed by special counsel Jack Smith


Trump touts plans for celebration of 250 years of American Independence

In a new campaign-style video, Donald Trump says if elected president in 2024 he will throw the USA the “most spectacular” birthday party to mark the 250th anniversary of American Independence.

The former president is proposing a year-long “Salute to America 250” celebration, including a “Great American State Fair,” featuring pavilions from all 50 states. He also wants nationwide high school sporting contests.

In a revival of one of his 2020 election plans, Mr Trump also wants to build the “National Garden of American Heroes” with statues of important figures in American history such as Frederick Douglass and Amelia Earhart — a plan enshrined in a Trump presidency executive order but scrapped when Joe Biden won the election.

The celebration would be organised by a task force formed on the first day of his presidency and will last from Memorial Day 2025 through until 4 July 2026.

The fair he proposed he even suggests could be held at the Iowa State Fairground — coincidentally where he is currently heading for a two-day tour as the 2024 campaign gets going in the first caucus state.

“I will work with all 50 governors, Republican and Democrat alike, to create the Great American State Fair, a unique one-year exhibition featuring pavilions from all 50 states. It’ll be something. The Great American State Fair will showcase the glory of every state in the Union, promote pride in our history, and put forth innovative visions for America’s future,” he says.

“My hope is that the amazing people of Iowa will work with my administration to open up the legendary Iowa state fairgrounds to host the Great American State Fair and welcome millions and millions of visitors from around the world to the heartland of America for this special one-time festival,” Mr Trump says. “Together we will build it, and they will come.”


Recap: Trump caught on tape discussing classified documents he kept after leaving White House

Federal prosecutors have reportedly obtained a recording of former president Donald Trump discussing classified documents he kept at his private residences long after his term expired in January 2021.

According to CNN, the audiotape of Mr Trump was created during the summer of 2021, approximately six months after the ex-president had left office.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

The recording could show Mr Trump knew he had not declassified the records in question


Trump lawyer was discouraged from searching Mar-a-Lago office for documents, report says

One of Donald Trump’s attorneys has said he was “waved off” from searching the former president’s office for classified documents in the weeks before FBI agents found more than 100 such records during a court-authorised search.

One of Donald Trump’s attorneys has said he was “waved off” from searching the former president’s office for classified documents in the weeks before FBI agents found more than 100 such records during a court-authorised search.


Biden laughs off idea of Trump pardon

President Joe Biden on Monday scoffed at the idea of granting his predecessor, former president Donald Trump, a pardon absolving him of any crimes he may have committed during or after his presidency.

Mr Biden has previously pledged not to grant any pardon to Mr Trump


Trump trashes Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie on Truth Social

The ex-president has been at it again on his favourite MAGA echo chamber, teasing DeSantis for being short and allegedly altering the pronounciation of his surname and posting an unkind joke about Christie’s weight courtesty of Roger Stone.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar has more.

‘He is demanding that people call him DeeeSantis, rather than DaSantis’


All the major lawsuits and investigations Trump is facing

Here’s what you need to know about all the major investigations and lawsuits against Donald Trump.

Former president has fumed that the investigations – and now his criminal indictment – are politically motivated


Five takeaways from Ron DeSantis’s 2024 launch

Ron DeSantis is officially running for president, and on Tuesday landed in the early caucus state of Iowa to give voters a preview of what his campaign will look like.

What that shaped up to be in Des Moines was largely what analysts had expected for months: a bid for higher office that leans into Republican culture war battles and as far away from direct confrontation with the incumbent de facto leader of the party, Donald Trump.

Mr DeSantis spoke to an enthusiastic crowd that cheered enthusiastically at his vows to score major wins on those issues like LGBT+ rights and “critical race theory”, but less for his veiled shots at the former president, who was never mentioned by name for obvious fear of losing the audience.

Florida governor rolls into first caucus state to launch 2024 bid against Trump