: Donald Trump, Bucks County, PA
Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Newtown, Bucks County, PA. Photo credit: Michael Candelori / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Donald Trump has finally found an explanation for how the criminal charges and civil trials he faces constitute “election interference.” Naturally, it’s nonsense.

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Donald Trump is not having a great week so far, so he did what he does best: make up stuff (while also highlighting the ineptitude of the media).

The source for the former president’s unhappiness is his civil fraud trial in New York, which isn’t going well. On Tuesday, Judge Arthur Engoron issued a gag order against him after Trump attacked the judge’s clerks with a social media post that, shockingly, turned out to be false.

Now, knowing the former president’s propensity for saying things he shouldn’t and admitting to wrongdoing on camera, following a gag order that prevents him from smearing or threatening the judge’s staff (and presumably the judge himself) is a tall order for Trump.

On Wednesday, he once again spoke to the press during a break in the trial, and he visibly tried to contain himself.

Which is probably wise. If you are unfamiliar with bench trials, i.e., a trial by judge and not by jury, here is a useful tip: Do not piss off the judge!

But that is exactly what Trump and his attorneys have done. On Wednesday, Engoron admonished the former president’s lawyers for slowing down proceedings.

Maybe that’s why Trump was in such a foul mood when he addressed reporters.

This time, he reserved most of his ire for New York’s Attorney General Letitia James and spent the rest of his four-minute rant on inventing “facts,” such as the value of his properties and his net worth.

Trump also tried out a new lie. In the past, he has maintained that all the criminal charges and civil trials he faces are “election interference,” which is nonsense.

On Wednesday, he offered a (false) explanation for that (ridiculous) claim.

According to Trump, the trial keeps him from campaigning, which it does not.

“I’m stuck here — I’d rather be right now in Iowa,” said Trump, who is voluntarily attending the trial and isn’t actually stuck in the courtroom at all. “I’d rather be in New Hampshire or South Carolina or Ohio or a lot of other places, but I’m stuck here!”

Again, Trump’s presence is not required at this point, and he could just get in his jet and fly to any state he wants.

And then he can campaign his heart out until he is asked to testify… if that even happens.

While Trump and his attorneys said he would take the stand, that might not end up happening because putting a pathological liar under oath is never a good idea.

What we also saw on Wednesday is that the media keeps doing a terrible job of covering the former president.

The reporters who were at the courthouse just let him talk for four minutes straight without any of them interrupting Trump to ask him questions or calling him out on obvious lies.

This is especially a dereliction of duty because the former president usually speaks only to friendly news outlets, so this would be one of the few times other reporters could ask some real questions.

The fact that they don’t is just further evidence that, even after years of the same thing, the media has still not figured out what to do with a serial liar who is good for their ratings.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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