Mussed-Looking Trump Goes on Wild Free Associative Rant at Post-Conviction Press Conference

Spencer Platt/Getty
Spencer Platt/Getty

Donald Trump gave a bizarre press conference Friday on the morning after he became the first former American president to be criminally convicted, variously wheeling out his favorite gripes about his prosecution and bragging about how much money he’s raised in the wake of the verdict.

Speaking at a news conference at Trump Tower in New York City, the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee renewed his bogus claims that Joe Biden was responsible for his trial and insisted that he did nothing wrong and will be appealing. With his hair mussed, Trump nevertheless strangely claimed to have been “honored” to have been involved in the case and said he’d raised a “record $39 million in about a 10-hour period” following the verdict.

GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS! Trump a Convicted Criminal

“It’s a very sad thing that’s happening in our country,” Trump said. “And it’s a thing that I’m honored—in a way I’m honored—it’s not that it’s pleasant, it’s very bad for family, it’s very bad for friends and businesses, but I’m honored to be involved in it because somebody has to do it.”

He explained that he was “honored to be involved because we’re fighting for our Constitution.”

Trump was convicted Thursday on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in relation to an attempt to hide a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to stop her speaking out about her claims of a one-night stand with Trump a decade earlier. Prosecutors claimed Trump sought to unlawfully influence the election with the scheme and tried to conceal reimbursements to his former lawyer Michael Cohen—who made the payment to Daniels—by recording them as legal fees.

At his news conference Friday, Trump continued to rail against what he claimed was a “rigged” trial, but nevertheless seemed happy about the “good news” that the verdict had spurred an influx of millions of dollars of donations to his campaign.

After announcing his purported fundraising haul—which was several million dollars more than the $34.8 million his campaign said it had raked in from small-dollar donors in less than seven hours after the verdict—applause could be heard from Trump’s supporters in the room.

“So far, I guess it’s backfired,” Trump said, apparently referring to his prosecution.

Trump also complained that he is still under a gag order, which Judge Juan Merchan imposed in an effort to stop Trump attacking people closely connected to his trial, claiming that the order had been given by “a man that can’t put two sentences together.” “This is all done by Biden and his people,” Trump said, reasserting his false claim that the president had been responsible for the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution.

At one point, he also cited the gag order when speaking about Cohen, who became the star witness for the prosecution in the case. “This was a highly qualified lawyer,” Trump said, referring to Cohen. “Now, I’m not allowed to use his name because of the gag order. But, you know, he’s a sleazebag.”

He further claimed that witnesses on his side of the trial “were literally crucified” by Merchan, a man who Trump said “looks like an angel, but he’s really a devil.”

Trump, who did not testify at his trial despite saying he would, continued to insist that he “wanted to testify.” “I would have loved to have testified,” Trump said. “To this day, I would have liked to have testified. But you would have been—you would have said something out of whack, like: ‘It was a beautiful sunny day,’ and it was actually raining out,” he added, having earlier said prosecutors may have tried to pursue perjury charges if he said something slightly wrong.

As well as claiming to be living in a “fascist” state and the victim of a “tyrant” judge, Trump claimed all of his legal troubles come “out of the White House.” He accused “crooked Joe Biden” of being “the worst president in the history of our country” in addition to being “the most incompetent” and “the dumbest president we’ve ever had.”

“He’s the most dishonest president we’ve ever had,” Trump continued. “He’s a Manchurian candidate. You take a look at the way he treats China, Russia, so many others.”

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