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Tuberville says a bit too much about why he went to Trump’s trial

Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville probably wasn’t supposed to tell a national audience that he wants to help Donald Trump “overcome this gag order.”


As Donald Trump’s first criminal trial drew closer, the former president lashed out at a variety of people across the legal system, including likely witnesses in his hush-money-to-a-porn-star case. With this in mind, Judge Juan Merchan imposed a gag order on the Republican in March.

The criminal defendant responded soon after by going after the judge’s daughter — publicly and repeatedly. The result, not surprisingly, was a revised gag order.

To put it mildly, Trump has not dealt well with the court-imposed restrictions. He clearly wants to go after key figures in his ongoing trial, but the former president also wants to avoid going to jail.

A solution to the former president's dilemma has come into focus in recent days: Trump is turning to GOP allies, whom he’s described as his “surrogates,” to peddle the talking points that he can’t say publicly.

Andrew Rice, a contributing editor at New York magazine, added on MSNBC yesterday that he saw Trump “editing” and “making notations” to quotes his partisan allies were poised to make to reporters.

It was against this backdrop that Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who joined the partisan parade at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on Monday, shed some additional light on his own motivations for the gesture. The Daily Beast reported:

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), the day after he attended part of Donald Trump’s criminal hush-money trial in New York — later doubting jurors’ citizenship and complaining about how the indicted former president is enduring “mental anguish” in the “depressing” courtroom — admitted Tuesday that “one of the reasons” for his appearance and comments was “to overcome this gag order” imposed on Trump.

“Hopefully we’ll have more and more senators and congressmen go up every day to represent him and be able to go out and overcome this gag order, and that’s one of the reasons we went — is to be able to speak our piece for President Trump,” the right-wing senator said during an appearance on Newsmax.

I have a hunch the Alabaman wasn’t supposed to tell a national audience that he wants to help Trump “overcome this gag order.”

As for whether the public relations tactics are likely to generate any consequences, my MSNBC colleague Jordan Rubin posed all the right questions in a piece yesterday: “Common sense would dictate — and Trump’s own words confirm — he has at least endorsed words that would violate the gag order if he said them. But does that mean that he’s directing them — as opposed to, say, encouraging or condoning them or the like? How fine a distinction would Judge Juan Merchan draw?”

Watch this space.

Update: Tuberville echoed the rhetoric again this morning.