MAGA media rage in response to Trump's 34 guilty verdicts

Fox News stars and other MAGA media commentators have responded to former President Donald Trump’s historic criminal conviction in a New York court with apocalyptic rhetoric and demands for retribution.

On Thursday, a jury found Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with hush-money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, which were intended to prevent Daniels’ claims that she had an affair with Trump from becoming public during the 2016 presidential election.

Right-wing media have followed the same time-tested strategy deployed in innumerable previous Trump scandals. Since the charges were brought, they have worked hand in hand with the former president to run interference, denounce Trump’s foes, and shape the way the GOP base perceives the events, thus keeping the Republican Party squarely behind him.

The convicted former president’s media allies responded to Trump’s indictment and arraignment last March by claiming that Trump was the victim of a politicized persecution that made the U.S. a “Third-World banana republic” and demanding legal retribution against Democrats.

Over the last seven weeks, the MAGA media sought to delegitimize every aspect of the trial. They attacked the judge, jury, prosecutors, and witnesses while pushing an array of false claims about the case.

  • Following the guilty verdict, Trump’s media allies piled more attacks on the justice system

    • Fox News co-host Jeanine Pirro claimed America had “gone over a cliff,” called the verdict “warfare,” and spoke of the country being “born of revolution.” [Media Matters, 5/30/24, 5/30/24, 5/30/24]

    • War Room host Stephen Bannon claimed that Trump’s convictions for falsifying business records to cover up his affair with a porn star were really an attack on his viewers: “It's not President Trump they're trying to destroy — they're trying to destroy you.” Earlier in the show, he had reassured viewers about the damage Trump might take as a result of the verdict. [War Room, 5/30/24, 5/30/24]

    • Prompted by a quote from actor Rob Schneider, Donald Trump Jr. argued that “we don't have a choice” and that the GOP will have to prosecute Trump critics as retribution. [Triggered, 5/30/24]

    • On his radio show, Fox News host Sean Hannity lashed out at Judge Juan Merchan. [The Sean Hannity Show, 5/30/24]

    • Fox News guest Brett Tolman: “I really blame the judge.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 5/30/24]

    • A Newsmax host made clear that Trump jurors can never go anywhere without being harassed. [Newsmax, 5/30/24]

    • Fox News reporter Shannon Bream hyped criticism of the judge’s jury instructions. [Fox News, Special Report, 5/30/24]

    • Laura Ingraham speculated that two attorneys on the jury steered the rest of the jury’s deliberations. [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/30/24]

    • A Fox News guest called Trump’s conviction a result of a “show trial” and said it shows why presidents “need immunity from criminal prosecution to do their jobs.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/30/24]

    • Newsmax guest Joseph di Genova warned jurors to be “very careful.” [Newsmax, Rob Schmitt Tonight5/30/24]