Former President Donald Trump denied ordering Mar-a-Lago security video erased after federal prosecutors slapped him with a subpoena for the footage.
In a new interview with NBC News, Trump said he never told anyone to tamper with the tapes, although he falsely insisted he could have refused to hand the footage over to the feds.
“The tapes weren’t deleted. In other words, there was nothing done to them,” Trump told Kristen Welker in her debut interview as host of “Meet the Press,” where the full interview will air Sunday. “And, they were my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them the tapes.”
Trump added that he would be willing to testify about the footage under oath, although legal analysts doubt he would ever take the stand voluntarily.
A Mar-a-Lago IT worker told prosecutors that property manager Carlos D’Oliveira said “the boss” wanted him to delete security footage in the days after the feds hit Trump with a subpoena.
Trump also falsely claimed in another interview that he was “allowed to do whatever I want” with the documents.
“I’m allowed to have these documents. I’m allowed to take these documents — classified or not classified,” he said on an episode of SiriusXM’s “The Megyn Kelly Show” that aired Thursday.
Trump is charged with mishandling classified documents and obstruction of justice in the documents case. D’Oliveira and body man Walt Nauta are also charged with allegedly helping him hide the documents from the feds and even his own defense lawyer.
He also faces a separate federal trial next March over his alleged effort to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, as well as a Georgia state conspiracy case related to some of the same issues and a New York trial on charges tied to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump also told Welker that he considered granting himself a pardon before leaving office, but decided against it.
Legal experts say it is a constitutional grey area whether a president has the power to pardon himself.
“I could have done it (but) I would never give myself a pardon,” he told Welker, adding that it’s “very unlikely” he would do so if he is reelected in 2024. “Because I didn’t do anything wrong.”