Donald Trump Blasts Indictment And Mocks Special Counsel In Speech That Gets Limited Live TV Play

UPDATE: Donald Trump continued to rail against the federal indictment against him at his second appearance on Saturday, this time at a Republican state convention in North Carolina.

“In the end they are not coming after me, they are coming after you, and I am just standing in their way,” Trump said in the speech, repeating past rhetoric that has tried to connect attacks on him to attacks on his fervid followers.

More from Deadline

Trump also brought up the abrupt dismissal of Chris Licht this week as the CEO of CNN. The former president took credit for CNN’s ratings bump from his town hall last month. The town hall drew an intense backlash within CNN, but Licht’s departure also came after a devastating 15,000 word profile in The Atlantic. Trump said, “Everything was beautiful and they got tremendous numbers, and they fired him. He’s gone now. Mr. Licht, sorry about that. I would like to apologize to Mr. Licht.”

PREVIOUSLY: About 24 hours after a federal indictment against Donald Trump was unsealed, the former president appeared at a Georgia rally and not at all surprisingly blasted the Justice Department and mocked special counsel Jack Smith.

His comments to a crowd in Columbus, GA reflected the stream of Truth Social posts that he posted after the full extent of the charges against him were made public. Trump blasted Smith as “deranged,” characterized the process as corrupt and quipped that “every time I fly over a blue state I get a subpoena.”

The 37-count indictment alleges that the former president, in mishandling of classified documents, “put at risk the national security of the United States.” Federal prosecutors claim that he blatantly lied about his use of the top-secret material in an effort to “obstruct the FBI and grand jury investigations.”

As he did on social media, Trump tried to claim that the photos that prosecutors included in the indictment, showing boxes stored in the Mar-a-Lago ballroom, a bathroom and a shower, didn’t show evidence that they contained classified material. One photo showed a tipped over box with photos and newspaper clippings on the floor. But a closer look shows paper with text blurred out.

And he continued to point the finger at President Joe Biden, who also is facing a special prosecutor investigation after classified material was found at his home and a private office leased after he left office as vice president.

“This vicious persecution is a travesty of justice,” Trump said.

He said, “These criminals cannot be rewarded. They must be defeated.”

BBC and C-SPAN carried his remarks live, but other major cable and broadcast networks did not.

Trump is scheduled to appear in Florida federal court on Tuesday.

Smith said in brief remarks on Friday, “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone.”

Trump was appearing at the Republican party convention, and was due to appear at another event in Greensboro, NC later on Saturday evening.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were celebrating Pride month at the White House on Saturday, hosting LGBTQ+ individuals and families on the South Lawn. The event was different from past years, in that it was held outside in more of a festival atmosphere, rather than the traditional East Room reception. Betty Who performed.

The president outlined initiatives to combat state laws to restrict care for transgender children and to limit drag shows. He also said that federal officials are studying whether book bans may violate civil rights laws.

Biden said, “I see families who testified in state capitols against laws stripping them of their freedom. 
I see students who are leading walkouts and protests of hateful bills like ‘Don’t Say Gay.’ In all of you — and this is not hyperbole — in all of you what I see is courage.  I mean it sincerely from the bottom of my — I see courage.  Courage. “

He did not mention Trump.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.