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A federal judge issued a stay in a gag order, which Donald Trump appeared to take advantage of to verbally attack a potential witness in one of the cases brought against him.
The former president called Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt a “red-haired weirdo” and special counsel Jack Smith “deranged,” according to the New York Post.
“The 77-year-old former president raged Sunday at reports that Pratt, a packaging mogul and member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, alleged Trump told him sensitive details about US nuclear submarines after the businessman suggested Australia should buy its subs from America,” The Post noted.
Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform: “The Failing New York Times story, leaked by Deranged Jack Smith and the Biden ‘Political Opponent Abuser’ DOJ, about a red haired weirdo from Australia, named Anthony Pratt, is Fake News. I never spoke to him about Submarines.”
“But I did speak to him about creating jobs in Ohio and Pennsylvania, because that’s what I’m all about – JOBS, A GREAT ECONOMY, LOW TAXES, NO INFLATION, ENERGY DOMINANCE, STRONG BORDERS, NO ENDLESS WARS, LOW INTEREST RATES, and much more!” Trump added.
According to ABC News, Pratt says Trump told him the exact number of nuclear warheads that are carried on some U.S. ballistic missile submarines and how close they can get to Russian submarines without being detected.
Pratt also claimed that, at one point, Trump asked former first lady Melania Trump to put on a bikini and walk around Mar-a-Lago “so all the other guys could get a look at what they were missing.” He says Melania then fired back: “I’ll do that when you walk around with me in your bikini.”
A spokesman for the former president ripped the claim, saying it came from “sources which totally lack proper context and relevant information.”
The New York Times and Australia’s “60 Minutes” program reported that in addition to the businessman’s interview with prosecutors and the FBI, there is an audio of him spilling the beans on Trump and the submarines.
The Post added:
The billionaire is one of at least 80 people who prosecutors believe could make a strong witness against Trump in the sprawling, 40-count criminal case brought against him by Smith and the US Justice Department for his alleged hoarding of classified documents at his various homes after leaving office. The trial is set to commence in May.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a gag order on Trump after he slammed prosecutors, court staff or their families. The order barred him from discussing them as well as making remarks about potential witnesses against him.
Chutkan temporarily froze the gag order she previously issued against the 45th president in her Washington, D.C., courtroom on Friday “to give the parties more time to brief her on the former president’s request to pause the order while his appeal of it plays out,” CNN reported.
The outlet added: “Chutkan also said that the Justice Department has until Wednesday to respond to Trump’s request for a longer pause on the gag order and that Trump would have until the following Saturday to reply to the government’s filing. Trump has already appealed the gag order to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and in a 33-page filing on Friday, his attorneys urged Chutkan to pause the order while that appeal plays out.”
“Trump has already appealed the gag order to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and in a 33-page filing on Friday, his attorneys urged Chutkan to pause the order while that appeal plays out,” CNN noted further.
Chutkan’s pause of her own order came just a few days after a contentious hearing, which some observers said was far more broad in scope than several media outlets claimed.