Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona, on Oct. 4, 2016.

Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona, on Oct. 4, 2016. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

The Washington Post has obtained the 2021 audio recording in which former president Donald Trump appears to brag about possessing a classified document related to Iran that he acknowledges he did not declassify before leaving office.

The recording, made at a meeting at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J., is an important piece of evidence obtained by special counsel Jack Smith. It appears to undercut Trump’s claims that he had declassified the documents before leaving office or didn’t know about possessing restricted documents after leaving the White House.

The recording, referenced in the federal indictment against Trump and first aired Monday by CNN, features Trump describing a multi-page document that he alleges is about possibly attacking Iran.

“See, as president I could have declassified it, now I can’t . . . Isn’t that interesting? It’s so cool,” Trump said on the recording.

Trump is now facing 37 felony charges related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents. In a recent interview, Trump claimed that he was unaware of Iran documents being among the materials in the boxes recovered at Mar-a-Lago — his private club and Florida residence — by the FBI and Justice Department. He also continued to claim that everything he took with him was declassified. He pleaded not guilty earlier this month during an arraignment at a federal courthouse in Miami.

Prosecutors’ 49-page indictment outlined two instances in which Trump disclosed sensitive papers in unsecured environments, post-presidency, to individuals who lacked the necessary security clearances required to view any classified information. The second instance described in the indictment was an August or September 2021 meeting where Trump showed an unnamed representative of his political action committee a classified map of “Country B,” and expressed to the individual that he shouldn’t be sharing the map.

Judge Aileen M. Cannon has scheduled the first pretrial conference in the case for July 14.

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