George Conway calls Trump a ‘sociopathic criminal’ over bombshell classified papers tape

Mr Trump both complained that the audio was leaked and insisted that it exonerated him

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 27 June 2023 15:53 BST
Related video: CNN plays tape of Trump appearing to show off classified military documents

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George Conway, a conservative attorney and the co-founder of the Lincoln Project, characterised Donald Trump as a "sociopathic criminal" while discussing the damning audio capturing the former president laughing about mishandling sensitive government documents.

Mr Conway made the comments Monday during an appearance on CNN.

The network obtained and played audio of Mr Trump apparently admitting that he was in possession of classified documents detailing possible US military strategies against Iran. He also admits in the audio that while he could have declassified the records during his presidency, he did not.

"See, as president I could have declassified it,” Mr Trump says in the clip, which was recorded during a meeting in 2021 July at his Bedminster golf club. “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”

One of his staffers can be heard saying "now we have a problem" as she and Mr Trump laugh over the shuffling of documents.

Mr Conway argued that the sensitive information falling into the wrong hands could have resulted in "the deaths of American servicemen."

“This man [Mr Trump] has no respect for rules. No respect for the lives of other human beings. No respect for the country. No respect for the Constitution. No respect for his duties," Mr Conway said. "He is a sociopathic criminal. And this is just another nail in the coffin."

Jack Smith, the special counsel heading the government's case against Mr Trump, will reportedly use the audio as key evidence against the former president.

Mr Conway said he was stunned by the audio.

George Conway, right, the co-founder of the Lincoln Project, said leaked audio of Donald Trump admitting he had secret documents was ‘stunning’
George Conway, right, the co-founder of the Lincoln Project, said leaked audio of Donald Trump admitting he had secret documents was ‘stunning’ (Getty)

“The special counsel already had Trump dead to rights because we knew this tape existed in some form,” Mr Conway told said. “But to actually hear a former president of the United States committing a felony ― probably multiple felonies ― on audio tape while laughing about it ... I think it’s just stunning.”

Mr Conway later commented on Twitter that he believes Mr Trump should spend at least half a decade behind bars.

"If the defendant doesn't go to prison for at least five to ten years, it would be a travesty," he wrote. "The prosecutors have him dead to rights, in more ways than we can count."

Mr Trump responded to CNN’s broadcast of the audio by ranting on Truth Social.

“The Deranged Special Prosecutor, Jack Smith, working in conjunction with the DOJ & FBI, illegally leaked and ‘spun’ a tape and transcript of me which is actually an exoneration, rather than what they would have you believe,” he wrote. “This continuing Witch Hunt is another ELECTION INTERFERENCE Scam. They are cheaters and thugs!”

Mr Trump has been indicted on 37 criminal counts relating to his handling of the Mar-a-Lago documents, making it the second time this year he has faced indictment. Earlier this year Mr Trump was indicted in New York on charges related to his alleged hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

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