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Political strategist reality-checks Biden campaign for stunt outside Trump's trial: 'Stupid mistake'

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Karl Rove, a career political strategist, is calling out the Biden campaign for a "stupid mistake."

On Tuesday, the Biden campaign held a surprise press conference outside the Manhattan courthouse where Donald Trump's hush money trial is taking place. The campaign used actor Robert De Niro and two former Capitol Police officers — Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone, who both worked on Jan. 6 — to do the campaign's anti-Trump messaging.

'Under Sheppard v. Maxwell ... the Supreme Court has long held that a defendant’s right to an impartial jury can be violated by extensive publicity about the case that creates a circus atmosphere.'

The mistake, according to Rove, is the Biden campaign aided the perception that Trump's trial is political.

"Stupid mistake by the Biden campaign," Rove said on Fox News.

"While all the cameras were there, they wanted to get their moment in the sun — and it was a big mistake. It politicizes the trial," he explained.

At the press conference, De Niro claimed that Trump will "destroy America" and "destroy the world" if he wins the election. According to Rove, that type of rhetoric won't win the support of undecided voters — and it could push them away.

"This was so over-the-top as to simply be useless, and what a stupid mistake on the part of the Biden campaign," Rove exclaimed.

‘Stupid Mistake!’: Karl Rove Torches Biden Campaign for Holding Bizarre Robert De Niro Press Conference pic.twitter.com/LUfk2WbLH1
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) May 28, 2024

Not only was the stunt a potential political mistake, but attorney Dan McLaughlin thinks it may have been a legal one, too.

In his view, McLaughlin said that prosecutors may have violated Trump's Sixth Amendment rights.

— (@)

"Under Sheppard v. Maxwell ... the Supreme Court has long held that a defendant’s right to an impartial jury can be violated by extensive publicity about the case that creates a circus atmosphere," McLaughlin wrote at National Review.

"This is a nationally known celebrity acting as a representative of the president of the United States, at the very site of the trial, on the day before the jury will begin to deliberate, declaring that 'everybody in the world' knows that the defendant is guilty and that he has previously gotten out of too many thing," he added, referring to De Niro.

"Sure, Trump has had his surrogates out there (including the speaker of the House), but the prosecution doesn’t have a constitutional right to an impartial jury; the defendant does," he explained. "If this isn’t over the line, what is?"

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was recently accused of saying "the quiet part out loud" when she refused to answer a question about Speaker Mike Johnson (R) speaking outside Trump's trial by citing the upcoming election.

"I don't want to comment, obviously, as this is related to 2024 elections," she said.

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Juan Williams defends Biden for attacking Republicans as 'semi-fascists,' then Karl Rove uses Biden's own words to refute him

Karl Rove and Juan Williams clashed on Sunday over President Joe Biden's harsh condemnation of Americans who support former President Donald Trump.

What is the background?

Speaking at a political rally last week, Biden claimed that "MAGA Republicans" are committed "to destroying America."

"The MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security, they’re a threat to our very democracy," Biden charged. "They refuse to accept the will of the people. They embrace political violence. They don’t believe in democracy."

Biden also told attendees at a Democratic National Committee event that adherents to "MAGA philosophy" are embracing "semi-fascism."

"What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump," Biden said. "It’s the entire philosophy that underpins — I’m going say something — it’s almost like semi-fascism, the way in which it deals."

What happened between Rove and Williams?

Williams tried to defend Biden's accusations by noting they came after Jan. 6, suggesting that the context of Trump's refusal to accept the 2020 election results and the subsequent U.S. Capitol riot are justification for Biden's remarks.

"I think if people behave that way, then they can expect to be called semi-fascist — fascists — because it’s anti-democratic action," Williams said. "You are acting against the Constitution of these United States," William said. "I think, and without being dramatic, that’s how democracy dies. They were trying to undermine, to subvert this Constitution."

Williams reinforced his position by pointing to Biden purportedly differentiating between "conservative Republicans" and "MAGA Republicans."

Rove, however, did not buy it and rebutted Williams' defense by using Biden's own words from his inaugural presidential address to prove Biden is dividing America — not healing it.

"He was not talking about the people who assaulted the Capitol. He was attacking the entire party," Rove corrected "This was not in keeping with what the president promised us."

Rove then proceeded to recite Biden's words.

"'My whole soul is in it,' he said in his inaugural, 'bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation.' That was after Jan. 6," Rove noted. "'We must see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors. We should treat each other with dignity and respect.' He was not treating his political opponents with dignity and respect."

\u201cKarl Rove goes after Joe Biden for calling the MAGA philosophy "semi-fascism": \n\n"He was not talking about people who assaulted the Capitol ... he was attacking the entire party ..."\n\n(Juan Williams *correctly* points out to Rove Biden was not hitting "conservative Republicans.")\u201d
— The Recount (@The Recount) 1661694224

Williams immediately took umbrage with Rove.

"But Karl," Williams interjected, "he clearly, clearly was speaking to — he said clearly 'I'm not talking about conservative Republicans.'"

"No, he didn't say that," Rove fired back. "Those words never passed his lips."

So who is right?

The transcript of Biden's remarks show that Rove is right and Biden did not say he was not referring to "conservative Republicans."

In his DNC speech, Biden condemned Maryland gubernatorial Republican nominee Dan Cox — who is Trump-endorsed — as "a MAGA Republican" and someone who "is not a traditional conservative Republican."