Trump Tries To Help His Supporters Fit Conviction Into The Alternate MAGA Reality

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 31: Former President and Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Trump Tower on May 31, 2024 in New York City. The former president was found guilty... NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 31: Former President and Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Trump Tower on May 31, 2024 in New York City. The former president was found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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On Thursday, a Manhattan jury found former President Donald Trump guilty of all 34 charges of falsifying business records in the New York hush money trial. The historic verdict, delivered by a jury that Trump’s lawyers helped pick, made him the first former president in American history to be convicted of a felony.

And those are the facts if you are living here with us in this reality — not so much in Trump’s version of America, a lawless land on the brink of collapse.

The guilty verdict immediately opened an expected floodgate of misinformation, as Trump and his MAGA influencers continued their unrelenting attacks on the rule of law and democracy in an effort to delegitimize the trial and its outcome.

On Friday morning, the former president, looking disheveled, held an extremely confusing press conference at Trump Tower in New York, at the foot of the golden escalator where it all began.

During the 30-minutes spiel — which contained a vaguely recognizable but extremely muddied version of the greatest-hits list of Trump’s grievances — he meandered through talking points about “bad people” coming to the United States “from mental institutions and insane asylums,” Democrats trying to “stop you from having cars” and fictive ideas about “Biden and his people” who are, as ever, out to get him.

The incoherent address to a room of supporters did hit some of the points we expected to hear from the former president. He continued his attacks on the boogeymen he created within the context of this trial, calling Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg a “failed DA,” Judge Juan Merchan a “conflicted judge” and President Joe Biden the “dumbest” and “most incompetent president we ever had.”

“This is a scam,” Trump said, eight minutes into taking the microphone. “This is a rigged trial. It shouldn’t have been in that venue. We shouldn’t have had that judge.”

Trump also lashed out at the gag order he is under, saying he is “not allowed to talk about the [judge] if I do he said I can get put in jail.”

“I’m the leading person for president and I’m under a gag order,” Trump said, adding “this is all done by Biden and his people.”

The former president and right-wing media have pushed the false notion that the New York prosecution and resulting trial were all part of some “deep state” effort to keep Trump from campaigning as he embarks on his third bid for the White House.

And Trump certainly stuck to that point as he mentioned his gag order but then continued to cryptically talk about several at times unidentifiable people involved in the case and trial, whom he kept referring to as “he.”

As the gag order suggests, this is not the first time Trump used this same rhetoric to attack those involved in his trial.

Even before the jury started deliberating in Manhattan, all throughout the weeks-long trial, the former president and his most loyal allies called the judge, the jury, the prosecutors and even the whole legal system “corrupt,” “biased” and “rigged” on so many occasions it’s hard to point to every instance of it. And on Thursday, as he walked out of the Manhattan courthouse following the historic verdict, Trump did not hesitate to claim that, now, the whole country is “rigged.”

The relentless alternate reality building from Trump is unsurprising — and it’s almost identical to the rhetoric he used four years ago.

In 2020, Trump and his allies went on serious and at times violent rampages to make the lie — that the election was rigged and that voter fraud was rampant — a reality. That’s partly why he is where he is today, facing three other indictments, two of which deal with his efforts to steal the last election.

It’s the same dangerous strategy: getting the MAGA base to believe that any version of events that is politically unfavorable to Trump is “rigged,” the result of the “deep state,” and a political “persecution.”

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Notable Replies

  1. None of this is possible without media monopolies in the Heartland. Americans are being propagandized into destroying their own democracy and the law does nothing about it. Worse, the SCOTUS enabled it deliberately by their rulings.

  2. Avatar for jrw jrw says:

    Non corpus mentis.

  3. I keep hoping he loses some MAGAs as he decompensates further. But they’re sliding down right with him, aren’t they?

  4. Wasn’t it earlier this week he referred to the U.S. as “a fascist country?”

    It’s as if the MAGA morons don’t understand the obvious premise of his approach to everything all the time: he wins, or everybody loses. And everything is rigged, fascist, corrupt, partisan, unfair, dumb, worst in history, rinse repeat.

    What is it about standing in the glorious shadow of his corpulent golf bod that makes them unable to see anything other than majesty?

  5. Avatar for lcale lcale says:

    I think this is the real effect of the trial. It’s not going to change anyone’s mind who was otherwise going to support him but it is going to eat away at his rotten, black heart until he can’t do anything else other than bitch constantly about the judge and the prosecutor and the judicial system. His entire campaign going forward is going to be focused on this and he won’t be willing or able to do anything else. And if, God forbid, he still manages to win in November it will be four years of nothing but trying to overturn the conviction and punish anyone and anything Trump believes assisted it.

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