Australia’s third richest man reportedly has a big mouth.
Earlier this month, ABC News reported that Antonio Pratt He ran around the city telling about 45 other people, including three former Australian prime ministers, that Donald Trump had revealed potentially sensitive information to him about American nuclear submarines.
On Sunday, a joint investigation of 60 minutes Australia, The Sydney Morning Heraldand Age revealed that Pratt boasted that Trump also told him about his private calls with foreign leaders, inadvertently revealing non-public details about US military operations. The Australian billionaire’s boastful talk was captured in a series of secret recordings, some of which were revealed in 60 minutes‘Sunday broadcast.
More excerpts were published Sunday evening by The New York Times, which reported that the recordings revealed the “transactional ethos of the Trump presidency,” which blended personal business interests and public service in a seemingly unprecedented way.
“It hadn’t even been on the news yet, and he said, ‘I just bombed Iraq today,’” Pratt can be heard recalling in a recording.
“He said, ‘I just bombed Iraq today. And the president of Iraq called me and said, “You just leveled my city,” Pratt says, apparently referring to a conversation Trump had had with Iraqi President Barham Salih. “And I said, ‘Okay, what are you going to do about it?’”
According to Pratt, Trump also alluded to another call with a world leader: the famous September 2019 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that would eventually form the basis of Trump’s first impeachment trial. “Trump said, ‘You know that phone call to Ukraine? That was nothing compared to what I usually do,’” Pratt says. “He said, ‘That phone call to Ukraine is nothing compared to what we usually talk about.’”
Pratt has been interviewed by US federal prosecutors bringing criminal charges against Trump and is on a list of potential witnesses who will be called to testify at Trump’s trial next year, according to the Times. It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors were aware of the recordings before the media reports were published.
A Trump spokesperson told the Times that the information revealed by Pratt on the tapes “completely lacks proper context and relevant information.” In his own statement, Trump called Pratt “a member of the most successful club in the country, Mar-a-Lago, and of a friendly country like Australia, one of our great allies.”
“I don’t know him well, but he seemed like a good person,” Trump added.
Pratt purchased a Mar-a-Lago membership in hopes of getting closer to Trump and his inner circle, including his then-lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whom Pratt considered “cool” and “someone who I hope will be useful one day,” according to the tapes. Pratt says in a recording that he paid Giuliani $1 million to attend his birthday party before the pandemic ruined those plans. Instead, Pratt adds, Giuliani “now…calls me once a week.”
In excerpts from the recordings, Pratt speaks admiringly of Trump, comparing him to a “mobster” with “incredible guts.” The billionaire seemed to think of Trump as a cunning manipulator, who knew “exactly what to say and what not to say to avoid jail.”
“Not everything is a do-it-yourself kind of shit,” Pratt muses at another point. “I think he and Rudy are… planning all of this.”
Elsewhere, however, Pratt acknowledges that Trump might simply be looking to blow his audience’s mind. “He just says whatever the fuck he wants,” she says. “And he loves to surprise people.”
In a recording, Pratt recalls an alleged incident in which Trump asked Melania to strut around in a bikini “so everyone else could see what they were missing.” The former first lady, according to Pratt, snapped: “I’ll do that when you walk with me in a bikini.”