The third richest man in Australia has a big mouth, according to reports.
Earlier this month, ABC News reported that Anthony Pratt ran around town telling approximately 45 other people—including three former Australian prime ministers—that Donald Trump had disclosed potentially sensitive information about American nuclear submarines to him.
On Sunday, a joint investigation by 60 Minutes Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age revealed that Pratt boasted Trump also told him about his private calls with foreign leaders, inadvertently revealing non-public details about U.S. military operations. The Australian billionaire’s swaggering talk was captured in a series of secret recordings, some of which were revealed in 60 Minutes’ Sunday broadcast.
More excerpts were published on Sunday night by The New York Times, which reported that the recordings revealed the “transactional ethos of the Trump presidency,” which mixed 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 one recording.
“He said, ‘I just bombed Iraq today. And the president of Iraq called me up and said, “You just leveled my city,”’ Pratt says, in apparent reference to a conversation Trump had had with Iraqi President Barham Salih. “And I said to him, ‘OK, what are you going to do about it?’”
According to Pratt, Trump also alluded to another call with a world leader—the notorious Sept. 2019 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that would eventually form the basis of Trump’s first impeachment. “Trump said, ‘You know, that Ukraine phone call? That was nothing compared to what I usually do,’” Pratt says. “He said, ‘That Ukraine phone call, that’s nothing compared to what we usually talk about.’”
Pratt has been interviewed by U.S. federal prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Trump, and is on a list of potential witnesses to be called to the stand in Trump’s trial next year, according to the Times. It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors were aware of the recordings prior to the publication of the media reports.
A Trump spokesperson told the Times that the information revealed by Pratt in the tapes “totally lack 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 from a friendly country in Australia, one of our great allies.”
“I don’t know him well but he seemed like a nice person,” Trump added.
Pratt bought a Mar-a-Lago membership in the hopes of cozying up to Trump and his inner circle, including his then-lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who Pratt saw as “cool” and “someone I hope will be useful one day,” according to the tapes. Pratt says in one recording that he paid Giuliani $1 million to come to his birthday party—before the pandemic dashed those plans. Instead, Pratt adds, Giuliani “now… rings me once a week.”
In some excerpted recordings, Pratt speaks admiringly of Trump, comparing him to a “mafioso” with “incredible balls.” The billionaire appeared to think of Trump as a shrewd manipulator, knowing “exactly what to say and what not to say so that he avoids jail.”
“It’s not all just sort of like seat-of-the-pants shit,” Pratt muses at another point. “I think that him and Rudy are… plotting all this out.”
Elsewhere, however, Pratt acknowledges that Trump might just be looking to blow his audience’s hair back. “He just says whatever the fuck he wants,” he says. “And he loves to shock people.”
In one recording, Pratt remembers an alleged incident in which Trump asked Melania to strut around in a bikini “so all the other guys could get a look at what they were missing.” The former First Lady, according to Pratt, snapped back: “I’ll do that when you walk around with me in your bikini.”