Trump: I'll Testify I Didn't Order Any Tapes Destroyed

Former president denies Mar-a-Lago allegation in 'Meet the Press' interview
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2023 10:52 AM CDT
Trump: I'll Testify I Didn't Order Any Tapes Destroyed
Former President Donald Trump at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Former President Trump says he's willing to testify under oath that he didn't order staffers to destroy surveillance tapes at Mar-a-Lago. In an interview with Meet the Press that airs Sunday, Trump denied prosecutors' allegations that he ordered the tapes destroyed to cover up his handling of classified information at his Florida estate, reports the Hill. "That's false," he told host Kristen Welker, who is taking over the position of moderator of the show. When Welker pressed Trump on whether he would say that in court, he responded, "Sure, I'm going to—I'll testify." He added: "More importantly, the tapes weren't deleted. In other words, there was nothing done to them. And they were my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn't even have to give them the tapes, I don't think."

The allegation stems from a superseding indictment filed in July by special counsel Jack Smith against Trump, aide Walt Nauta, and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos de Oliveira. It alleges that Oliveira asked another staffer to destroy security camera footage on the orders of "the boss," per Axios. The latter staffer is not named in the document, but he has since been identified in news outlets as tech worker Yuscil Taveras. After changing counsel, Taveras implicated Trump, Nauta, and Oliveira. The New York Times has a detailed look at Taveras' role in the case. (In another part of the interview, Trump said it's "unlikely" he would pardon himself if re-elected.)

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