Jake Tapper has had enough of Donald Trump’s post-arraignment “spectacle.”
Disrupting CNN’s airing of footage of the former president being sung “Happy Birthday” and buying out a Miami cafe in the hours after being arraigned on 37 charges related to his mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, the anchor said, “That’s enough of that,” and directed the control room to stop playing the clip.
After he was booked in a Miami court on Tuesday, Trump stopped by a nearby cafe to meet with supporters and buy everyone’s meal. Videos of the bustling encounter were captured and promoted around various news outlets, but Tapper had seen enough. He directed the CNN newsroom on Tuesday to stop playing the video.
“The folks in the control room, I don’t need to see any more of that. He’s trying to turn it into a spectacle, into a campaign ad. That’s enough of that, we’ve seen it already,” he said. “Let’s go over, again, the 37 charges that Donald Trump is facing.”
Before Tapper redirected the program’s focus away from the cafe footage, his “The Lead” co-panelist reminded viewers what was happening in Miami.
“Anyway you look at this — and again, despite whatever may be going on in that restaurant, this case isn’t going to be settled, legally, in a cafe,” he said. “It’s going to be settled in a courtroom.”
“Are you ready?” Trump is shown asking the cafe owner in the viral video. “Food for everyone!” A second video shows Trump, who turns 77 Wednesday, receiving a “Happy Birthday” serenade from the crowd after they cheered at his order.
After his first indictment in April, the former president was indicted for a second time Friday — becoming the first current or former president to ever face criminal charges. Friday’s indictment alleged that Trump took boxes of classified government documents out of the White House in his move to Mar-a-Lago. Special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment also claims that Trump refused to return the papers, going against a subpoena to retrieve them. The FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate in August of 2022 to secure the classified materials.
According to the indictment, the documents contained “information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.”