President Joe Biden laughed when asked about the political implications of former President Donald Trump’s arraignment at a Manhattan courthouse in New York.
Trump pled not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records relating to “hush money” payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.
While Biden gave remarks in the White House’s State Dining Room before meeting with his Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, reporters shouted questions, including one about the indictment of Trump.
Mr. President,is the indictment of your predecessor politically motivated?
Big smile. No words required.
The longer Biden laughs about Trump being indicted on 34 felony counts, it masks his own baggage.
Joe Biden escapes fallout from the millions in bank wires from China to… https://t.co/GRFjEzxQAu
— Tosca Austen (@ToscaAusten) April 5, 2023
“Is the indictment of your predecessor politically divisive?” a reporter asked.
Biden didn’t directly answer the question but appeared to chuckle as reporters were escorted out of the room for the meeting to begin.
Biden and his White House have avoided discussing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump. Fox News asked Biden whether he felt the charges against Trump were politically motivated. “I have no comment on Trump,” Biden replied.
During Trump’s arraignment hearing, a video of Biden saying that he and Democrats will make sure Trump doesn’t become the next president went viral on social media.
In the clip, Biden says, “We’ll just have to demonstrate that he will not take power … if he does run, making sure he – under legitimate efforts of our Constitution – does not become the next president again.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Trump’s indictment didn’t concern Biden and that she has not discussed it with him.
“We’re not going to comment specifically on the case itself, but, look, the president is going to focus on the American people, like he does every day,” Jean-Pierre said at the White House press briefing. “This is not something that is a focus for him. He is going to focus on things like making sure that we continue to lower prices for the American people.”
“Of course, this is playing out on many of the networks here on a daily basis for hours and hours. So, obviously, he will catch part of the news when he has a moment to catch up on the news of the day. But this is not his focus for today,” she added.
Answering a question from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, Jean-Pierre added that the White House is declining to comment on an “ongoing case.”
Trump’s indictment marked the first time in history that a former president received criminal charges.