Inverted Flags and On-Air Fury: GOP Freaks Out Over Trump’s Guilty Verdict

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Republican lawmakers and pundits melted down on air and online Thursday after a New York jury convicted Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records—charges that may soon land the ex-president in prison.

Trump’s trial was under constant scrutiny by Trump and the majority of the GOP, who decried the treatment of their party’s leader—who was indicted four times in 2023—claiming he was being targeted for political reasons. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their feelings didn’t sway a smidge on Thursday.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) set the tone within minutes of Trump’s verdict coming down, posting a photo of an upside-down American flag—in apparent protest of the trial itself. Moments later, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) followed up with a post to X that included the link to WinRed, a Republican fundraising platform that crashed from excessive traffic after Trump’s guilty verdict. The far-right firebrand later sent a statement calling the verdict the result of widespread corruption.

“This verdict is the corrupt result of a corrupt trial, a corrupt judge, and a corrupt DA,” Gaetz wrote. “We will stand with President Trump now more than ever to save the country.”

A number of other prominent Republicans also chimed in, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said he expected the verdict to be reversed on appeal; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who called Thursday a “dark day for America”; and the right-wing grifter Alex Jones, who said America as a republic is “on its death bed.”

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson also weighed in on X, where his streaming show now exclusively airs. He lashed out at immigrants for some reason, seemingly blaming them for the verdict.

“Import the Third World, become the Third World,” he said. “That’s what we just saw. This won’t stop Trump. He’ll win the election if he’s not killed first. But it does mark the end of the fairest justice system in the world.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) gave a more measured, but equally peeved statement after the verdict.

“Today is a shameful day in American history. Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges, predicated on the testimony of a disbarred, convicted felon. This was purely a political exercise, not a legal one.”

On Fox News, anchors from its show The Five went into full meltdown as the verdict became public. Loud cheers could be heard on a live broadcast from the courthouse before cameras cut to right-wing pundits in studio who characterized the trial as a sham and political hit job.

“This is warfare!” declared Jeanine Pirro.

On the other side of the aisle, Trump’s conviction was met with relief and celebration. In a statement of his own, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer who was the prosecution’s star witness against his old pal, said Thursday was “an important day for accountability and the rule of law.”

“While it has been a difficult journey for me and my family, the truth always matters,” he said.

Outside the courthouse, some Trump superfans grew deranged as they watched people celebrate the verdict—hugging, kissing, and chanting in joy.

“Motherfuckers, motherfuckers,” one man, wearing a red Joe & the Hoe Gotta Go hat, yelled at celebrators. “You suck, you suck, there is no justice in this country... Not guilty, he’s not guilty, pieces of shit. Eat shit and die you fucking corrupt motherfuckers.”

Others appeared to be overcome by shock and anger, with a reporter from The Daily Beast capturing one Trump supporter shout in agony after the verdict, “Take me instead.”

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