Trump forced to listen silently as potential jurors offer their unvarnished assessments of him

Trump forced to listen silently as potential jurors offer their unvarnished assessments of him

The Associated Press reports:

He seems “selfish and self-serving,” said one woman.

The way he carries himself in public “leaves something to be desired,” said another.

His “negative rhetoric and bias,” said another man, is what is “most harmful.”

Over the past week, Donald Trump has been forced to sit inside a frigid New York courtroom and listen to a parade of potential jurors in his criminal hush money trial share their unvarnished assessments of him.

It’s been a dramatic departure for the former president and presumptive 2024 GOP nominee, who is accustomed to spending his days in a cocoon of cheering crowds and constant adulation. Now a criminal defendant, Trump will instead spend the next several weeks subjected to strict rules that strip him of control over everything from what he is permitted to say to the temperature of the room.

“He’s the object of derision. It’s his nightmare. He can’t control the script. He can’t control the cinematography. He can’t control what’s being said about him. And the outcome could go in a direction he really doesn’t want,” said Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer and critic.

While Trump is occasionally confronted by protesters, generally he lives a life sheltered from criticism. After leaving the White House, Trump moved to his Mar-a-Lago waterfront club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is surrounded by doting paid staff and dues-paying members who have shelled out tens of thousands of dollars to be near him.

Many days, Trump heads to his nearby golf course, where he is “swarmed by people wanting to shake his hand, take pictures of him, and tell him how amazing he is,” said Stephanie Grisham, a longtime aide who broke with Trump after the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

When he returns to Mar-a-Lago in the afternoon, members lunching on the patio often stand and applaud. He receives the same standing ovation at dinner, which often ends with Trump playing DJ on his iPad, blasting favorites like “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown. [Continue reading…]

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