Updated Aug 30, 2023 - Politics & Policy

READ: Trump says in New York civil case defense he helped avoid "nuclear war"

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Trump during a closed-door deposition touted his real estate credentials and defended his presidency as he said New York Attorney General Letitia James should "drop" her lawsuit because "you don't have a case," per a transcript unsealed Wednesday.

Driving the news: "So many things I did for this city ... and now I have to come and justify myself to you," Trump said in the seven-hour April testimony for the civil case to James, who accuses him of fraudulently inflating his net worth by billions of dollars, according to the transcript.

Of note: The 2024 Republican presidential front-runner was asked whether he was the "ultimate decision-making authority for the Trump Organization," but he said he wasn't because he was "very busy."

  • "My son Eric is much more involved with it than I am. I've been doing other things," Trump said. "I guess you could say on something major, final decisions, whatever. But I've been much less involved in it than over the last five or six years than ever before."
  • Trump pointed to his presidential commitments, saying: "I considered this the most important job in the world, saving millions of lives."
"I think you would have nuclear holocaust, if I didn't deal with North Korea. I think you would have a nuclear war, if I weren't elected. And I think you might have a nuclear war now, if you want to know the truth."
ā€” Former President Trump

The big picture: The former president, his two elder sons, Don. Jr and Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 2.

Read the transcript in full, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper: Trump's courtroom calendar clashes with 2024 presidential election

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further details from the deposition and more context.

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