White House says it had no advance warning of Trump indictment
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Biden wasn’t given advance warning that former President Trump would be indicted by a Manhattan grand jury Thursday.
“We found out — all of us, including the president — found out about the news yesterday, just like every other American, through the news reports,” Jean-Pierre said Friday.
She said the president’s chief of staff, Jeff Zients, let Biden know what had occurred after learning from media reports but that the White House “was not given a heads up.”
Earlier on Friday, Biden declined repeatedly to comment on the indictment.
When asked if he’s worried about protests after the indictment, the president replied, “No. I’m not going to talk about the Trump indictment.”
In the event of protests following the indictment, Jean-Pierre said Biden supports Americans’ right to protest peacefully but that she wouldn’t get into speculation over what might happen.
Trump’s indictment marks the first time a current or former president has ever faced criminal charges. It comes after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) initiated a probe investigating Trump’s involvement in allegedly organizing hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.
Trump, who has lashed out over the indictment and denied any wrongdoing, has claimed the charges would “backfire massively” on both Biden and Bragg.
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