Former president Donald Trump told radio host Howie Carr on the eve of his federal court appearance in Miami on Tuesday that he will plead not guilty to the more than three dozen felony charges surrounding his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
“Honestly, it’s a disgrace to our country,” Trump said of his federal indictment on Carr’s WRKO show Monday evening. “The whole world is laughing.”
The indictment unsealed by the Justice Department on Friday charged Trump with 37 felony counts, including 31 that are related to willfully retaining national defense information.
The indictment alleges Trump intentionally kept hundreds of classified documents that he took from the White House when he left in January 2021 and brought them to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.
The materials allegedly include nuclear programs information, defense and weapons capabilities of the United States and foreign governments, as well as a Pentagon “attack plan” — allegedly stored in places like a bathroom, a shower, a bedroom, and a ballroom, according to the indictment.
Trump, already the 2024 frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination despite his 2020 general election loss to President Biden, denied the extensive federal allegations.
“I didn’t do anything wrong, did nothing wrong,” he told Carr.
Tuesday will be Trump’s second time since April facing a judge on criminal charges, following an arraignment in New York on state charges that he falsified business records in connection with a hush money payment to former porn star Stormy Daniels right before the 2016 election.
Officials in Miami have already begun to brace for protests surrounding the case. Trump has encouraged supporters to join a planned protest at the courthouse, telling his former advisor Roger Stone in an interview Sunday that “they have to go out and they have to protest peacefully. They have to go out.”
Speaking to his supporters on Carr’s radio show Monday night, Trump said, “Just stay strong, stay very, very strong.”
Material from Globe wire services was used in this report.