Former U.S. President Donald Trump allegedly shared potentially sensitive information about U.S. nuclear submarines with Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt, according to a recent report by U.S.-based ABC News. The alleged discussion occurred three months after Trump left office, raising concerns about national security and proper handling of classified information.
The information allegedly divulged by Trump included details about the number of nuclear warheads carried by U.S. submarines and their proximity to Russian submarines without detection. These claims were made by a source familiar with Pratt’s account to investigators working for special counsel Jack Smith.
Smith has charged Trump with 40 criminal counts related to the retention of classified information after leaving office, in addition to charges related to election subversion and hush-money payments.
Despite the legal challenges he faces, Trump continues to lead in Republican presidential polling, making him a strong contender for the 2024 presidential race against Joe Biden.
The alleged conversation took place at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in April 2021. Pratt reportedly shared the information within minutes of hearing it, which shocked a Trump employee who overheard the conversation.
According to the ABC report, Pratt shared this information with at least 45 people, including employees, journalists, and officials, including three former Australian Prime Ministers. Pratt indicated that he shared the information to advocate for Australia’s interests in the U.S., especially as Australia was negotiating the purchase of nuclear submarines from the U.S. at the time.
Down Under Politics
The report has sparked concerns in Australian politics, with the opposition’s foreign affairs spokesperson emphasizing the need for U.S. and Australian national security officials to take the claims seriously. The Australian government has yet to provide an official response to the allegations.
Anthony Pratt and Trump had developed a relationship after Trump’s election in 2016, and Pratt joined Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s members club in Florida. The alleged conversation regarding sensitive submarine information raises significant questions about the handling of classified information and its potential impact on national security.
Pratt’s alleged dissemination of this information further underscores the importance of proper handling and protection of classified information, especially when it concerns sensitive military technologies and national security. The situation remains under investigation, and its potential implications on the U.S.-Australia relationship and national security will be closely monitored.
What the Experts Told Us: Claims ‘Consistent’ With Trump’s Previous Conduct
Andrew Donaldson, a columnist for the Fayette Tribune newspaper in West Virginia, told 19FortyFive that the claims did not surprise him.
“For the U.S. side, if true the claims fit into the narrative, reporting, and current federal charges of mishandling and being, at best, extremely reckless with classified information. And while Australia is an ally, it calls into question what he might have told/shared with others who are not as friendly as Australia,” he explained.
“The claims are consistent with what we know about how Donald Trump conducts himself – talk big, braggadocious, reckless. In the US they probably will make headlines but not change much.
“For the Aussies though it could be a very public and unwanted distraction to their already controversial AUKUS nuclear submarine ‘pathway’ plans with the U.S. & UK that are important to defense planning in the Pacific and China deterrence long term.”
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.
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