Former US president Donald Trump allegedly slipped sensitive details about America’s nuclear submarine fleet to an Australian billionaire, reports have claimed.
American news channel ABC News reports Mr Trump told cardboard industrialist Anthony Pratt the exact number of nuclear warheads carried by US submarines and how close they could get to Russian boats without detection in a conversation at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s lavish Florida compound, in April 2021.
The US Justice Department, led by special counsel Jack Smith, is currently investigating Mr Trump for allegedly mishandling classified information following his defeat in the 2020 election.
According to ABC News, Mr Trump’s remarks were relayed to at least 45 people, including three former Australian prime ministers, six journalists, 11 of his employees and 10 Australian officials.
Mr Pratt is the executive chairman of Visy Industries and Pratt Industries in the United States.
He is not accused of any wrongdoing.
Mr Pratt has been contacted for comment and to confirm the reports.
The New York Times reports former US ambassador Joe Hockey downplayed Mr Trump’s alleged disclosures.
“If that’s all that was discussed, we already know all that,” Mr. Hockey told the US media outlet.
“We have had Australians serving with Americans on U.S. submarines for years, and we share the same technology and the same weapons as the U.S. Navy.”
The news channel also reports Mr Pratt has spoken with FBI agents and prosecutors working for Mr Smith, who slapped Mr Trump with 40 charges over his alleged mishandling of classified information after leaving the White House.
ABC News relied on unnamed sources for its report.
The alleged conversation between Mr Trump and Mr Pratt coincided with the time the Australian, American and UK governments were locked in secret discussions over the AUKUS pact, an agreement for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
Defence Minister Richard Marles has been contacted for a response to the report.