During an interview with Fox News aired on Monday, June 19, former President Donald Trump had a lot to say about the 37-count federal criminal indictment he is facing. Special counsel Jack Smith and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) allege that Trump endangered the United States’ national security by storing classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago — and that he made matters worse by failing to turn some of them over when they were requested.
The interview is receiving plenty of reactions from media figures and legal experts, many of whom believe that Trump hurt his case by acknowledging he didn’t give investigators his full cooperation.
On Twitter, far-right radio host Erick Erickson said of the interview, “Guys, Trump admitted on TV tonight he withheld documents from the grand jury. Game over, legally. What an idiot.”
Vicki Ringer, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, South Carolina, said of Erickson’s tweet, “You’re admitting it? Will you have to turn in your Republican ID card?”
Philadelphia-based reporter Breckyn Thomas wasn’t impressed by Erickson’s attack on Trump, posting, “‘Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?’ Erick will be following Trump again tomorrow.”
Attorney Neal Katyal, a frequent legal analyst for MSNBC and former acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama, has been emphasizing that Trump, on Fox News, gave Smith and DOJ more ammunition to use against him.
Katyal tweeted, “The breaking news tonight is that the special prosecutor Jack Smith has a new addition to his legal team tonight, an unpaid new deputy special counsel. His name is Donald J. Trump.”
Attorney and Never Trump conservative George Conway tweeted, “The defendant seems utterly incapable of exercising his constitutional right to remain silent.”
Former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara wrote, “How much did Joe Rogan pay Bret Baier to debate Donald Trump?”
Never Trumper Tom Nichols posted, “This is one of those interviews where Trump seems, in addition to everything else, just unwell.”
Attorney John Billington posted, “Will this version of events accompany him into a witness stand?” Another lawyer, David Smith, commented, “He has always been of the opinion that he can smooth talk his way out of anything. Please, don’t anybody tell him.”
The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes sarcastically posted, “Thank you for your candor, Mr. Trump. I’ll be in touch.”
Ed Morrissey tweeted, “The first rule of Federal Indictment Club is: you don’t talk about your case. And the second rule of Federal Indictment Club is … REALLY don’t do this. Did Trump just admit to obstruction — on national television?
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