Former President Donald Trump pushed back against reports of him sharing sensitive information with Mar-a-Lago member and Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt, after Australian media outlets released secret recordings of Pratt describing his close access to Trump.
Secret recordings of Pratt, who has been listed as a potential witness in the Trump classified documents trial, where he describes the former president’s business practices of being “like the mafia,” were aired on Sunday by Australia’s 60 Minutes news program.
The recordings, also accessed by the New York Times and the Sydney Morning Herald, include Pratt’s accounts of how Trump told him about the phone calls he had with the leaders of Iraq and Ukraine in 2019.
Trump responded to the report on his Truth Social platform by attacking the Times, calling the story “fake news” and suggesting the story had been leaked by the DOJ.
Calling Pratt a “red haired weirdo from Australia,” Trump wrote he “never spoke to him about Submarines,” referencing earlier reports of his interactions with the Australian billionaire.
The former president said he did speak to Pratt about “creating jobs in Ohio and Pennsylvania”.
Trump said the Times never reached out to him for a comment on the story and claimed “they just write anything they want,” although the outlet notes that it reached out to the Trump Organization and received no response.
In the recordings, Pratt talks about Trump describing a phone call he had with the Iraqi leader in 2019. Quoting Trump, Pratt said: “‘The president of Iraq called me up and said, you just leveled my city…And I said to him, OK, what are you going to do about it?” Pratt also claimed Trump discussed a phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky where he urged him to investigate the Biden family. Trump purportedly said, “You know that Ukraine phone call? That was nothing compared to what I usually do.” Describing Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and media magnate Rupert Murdoch, Pratt says: “All these guys are like the mafia. Trump, Rupert, Rudy. You want to be a customer, not a competitor. And I am very aware of that.”
“The minute he becomes president, he starts dealing with other countries, sending his kids to do deals, real estate deals with other countries just to see if he can get away with it? He knows exactly what to say and what not to say so that he avoids jail…He won’t go up to someone and say: ‘I want you to kill someone’. What he’ll say is he’ll send someone to tell someone to kill someone,” Pratt said.
Earlier this month, ABC News reported, citing anonymous sources, that Trump had discussed sensitive details about the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet with Pratt a few months after leaving the White House. According to the report, the discussion took place in April 2021 when Pratt brought up how Australia should buy American-made submarines for its fleet. The former president then allegedly told the Australian billionaire details about the U.S. submarines’ nuclear missile loadout and how close it can trail Russian vessels without being detected. Pratt has been interviewed twice by FBI agents about the matter and has been named a potential witness in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s mishandling of classified documents after leaving office.
‘Being rich is my superpower’: Tapes reveal Pratt’s pursuit of the powerful (Sydney Morning Herald)