The former president is claiming that he never disclosed highly classified information about American nuclear-powered submarines and their weaponry to the wealthy Australian who pays for a membership at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago social club.
The workings of the nuclear-powered submarines are typically considered among the US Navy’s most highly-guarded secrets.
According to ABC News, Mr Pratt reportedly shared the same information with “scores” of other people not authorised to have it, including “more than a dozen foreign officials” and journalists of unknown nationality.
But in a Truth Social post on Friday, the ex-president angrily denied having disclosed such important secrets to anyone unauthorised to know them, calling the derogatory reporting about him “false and ridiculous” while conceding that he “often” brags about how the US produces “the best Submarines and Military Equipment anywhere in the World”.
Mr Pratt reportedly told special counsel Jack Smith’s investigators that the ex-president told him two pieces of information about the submarines: How many nuclear warheads are carried by American Ohio class ballistic missile submarines, and how close to such vessels a Russian submarine must get to detect them.
Both of those figures are among the US Navy’s most closely guarded secrets. But sources reportedly told ABC that Mr Pratt described what Mr Trump had said to at least 45 other people, including 10 Australian officials and a trio of former prime ministers.
Who is Anthony Pratt?
Mr Pratt is the chair of paper and packaging giants Visy and Pratt Industries, with the former firm being the foundation of the family’s wealth after decades of work by Mr Pratt’s father Richard Pratt, who passed away in 2009, leaving his son in charge.
The firm is now the second-largest private company in Australia, Time magazine noted.
Pratt Industries is a corrugated packaging company in the US, boasting around $12bn in assets. Mr Pratt moved to the US in the 1990s to work on growing the family’s international reach. He now lives in New York and Melbourne.
The company started to take over box plants and constructed a paper recycling facility and later made a deal with New York City to handle waste paper recycling.
Pratt Industries claims on its site that it’s the fifth-largest packaging company in the US.
While recycling mostly cardboard boxes in the US, in Australia, they’re taking care of paper and glass, in addition to other items.
Visiting a Pratt Industries plant in Ohio in 2020 with Mr Pratt and former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, Mr Trump called it “amazing”.
Mr Pratt is the 213th richest person on the planet with a net worth of $9.2bn, dwarfing Mr Trump’s $2.6bn.
He has backed parties and politicians on both sides of the aisle in Australia and in the US.
Mr Pratt invited then-Vice President Joe Biden to dinner when he visited Australia during the last year of the Obama administration in 2016. He also appointed an ex-US ambassador to his advisory board in 2013, according to The Australian.
Mr Pratt joined Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in southern Florida in 2017, the year Mr Trump became president.