• Politics
  • Joe Biden

Watch Biden React to Trump Blaming Him For Hush-Money Trial Conviction

3 minute read

As President Joe Biden started walking out of the press room on Friday afternoon, after finishing a speech outlining a cease-fire plan for the Israel-Hamas war, a journalist called out, questioning him on former President Donald Trump’s historic hush-money trial conviction.

“Donald Trump refers to himself as a ‘political prisoner’ and blames you [Biden] directly. What’s your response to that, sir?” the person enquired.

Biden stopped, turned around, and reacted by smiling widely, seemingly amused by the question or the topic at hand. The journalists continued to ask for the President’s thoughts.

“Do you think the conviction will have an impact on the campaign?” was another query put forward. But without answering any questions, Biden proceeded to walk out of the room.

The moment is receiving much social media attention, as the public continues to digest Trump's conviction of 34 charges in a plot to illegally influence the 2016 election by falsifying documents that showed hush-money paid to Stormy Daniels, a former porn actor, who claims the two had sex.

Earlier in the day on Friday, Trump made a statement from Trump Tower in New York, speaking for over 30 minutes, and insisting that the verdict was “rigged” and driven by politics. Throughout his speech, he verbally attacked the judge, the witnesses, and called President Biden “a very big danger to our country.” 

Meanwhile, on Thursday, immediately after leaving court, Trump outwardly blamed the Biden Administration.

"The real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people," he said. "This was done by the Biden Administration in order to wound or hurt a political opponent, and I think it’s just a disgrace.” 

President Biden reacted to the verdict and Trump’s words directly in his own speech, before discussing the Israel-Hamas war cease-fire plan.

He reified that this was a state case, including local representation, rather than a federal case that could be influenced by the Justice Department and those under his presidential purview. Biden also defended the jurors as citizens, not unlike those watching, and said that Trump had every opportunity to defend himself over the five weeks that evidence was shown.

“It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this is ‘rigged’ just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden said.

On June 27, Biden and Trump are set to meet in their first debate for the 2024 election cycle. Soon after, on July 11, Trump is set to return to court for sentencing, where he could face penalties ranging from heavy fines to prison time.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com