President Joe Biden, who campaigned on uniting the country, was caught on camera laughing when he was asked whether the indictment of former President Donald Trump was “politically divisive.”
Trump was arraigned in New York on Tuesday in the case brought forth by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) — who convinced a grand jury to indict the former president on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a supposed “hush money” payment made by Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen almost seven years ago. The crime has a two-year statute of limitations, and Trump has asserted that Bragg’s case is nothing more than political persecution and “election interference.”
Biden previously said “no comment” in response to a question about the indictment, but it appears his attitude about the matter has since changed.
President Biden said he had no comment on Donald Trump's indictment when asked by reporters outside the White House on Friday morning. https://t.co/9vDdGv4w8I pic.twitter.com/BlI3cmj4mY
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 31, 2023
Now, it seems that Biden finds the prosecution of his predecessor and potential 2024 opponent funny.
After a meeting between the president and his science advisers at the White House, where the press was invited, Biden’s handlers once again began pushing the media out of the room — which is common under this administration, where it appears that White House staff want to prevent the president talking to the press as much as possible.
“Is the indictment of your predecessor politically divisive?” a reporter yelled at Biden as the media was being ushered out of the room.
Biden refused to engage with the reporter and instead smiled while sitting quietly and watching the reporters being removed.
Joe Biden LAUGHS as he’s asked if the charges against Trump are “politically divisive.” pic.twitter.com/FkkGVs2A1D
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 4, 2023
This comes after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tried to defend Biden’s refusal to comment on the prosecution.
“When it comes to these types of cases, these criminal-specific cases, we’re just not going to comment,” she said during a Tuesday press briefing, adding: “I get you. I know there’s a broader question of what this means, the precedent and what the president is going to decide or make decisions that he might make, like hypothetical questions. I’m just not going to comment from here on that.”
Jean-Pierre’s comments came in response to a question from a New York Times reporter, Michael Shear, who asked why Biden is refusing to comment on Trump’s indictment when he was fine with making remarks about the prosecution of American citizens for the January 6 Capitol protests.
The press secretary has also claimed that Biden was not made aware of the prosecution of Trump before the news broke, though critics say that is likely false.
“He learned about this just like all of you,” Jean-Pierre claimed.
Karine Jean-Pierre claims Biden "was not given a heads-up" on the indictment of President Trump: "He learned about this just like all of you" pic.twitter.com/wOmcDf1o8u
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 4, 2023
Many critics are now pointing out that Biden essentially “foreshadowed” Trump’s indictment during comments made in November 2022, where he suggested that “we have to” make sure that Trump “does not become the next president again.”
“We have to demonstrate that he will not take power if he does run by making sure he, under the legitimate efforts of the Constitution, does not become the next president again,” the president said.
FLASHBACK — 11/9/22: Joe Biden when asked about Donald Trump running again:
“We have to demonstrate that he will not take power if he does run by making sure he, under the legitimate efforts of the Constitution, does not become the next president again.” pic.twitter.com/UIx0uDWAjl
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) April 2, 2023