Biden declines to comment on Trump indictment as he heads to Mississippi town hit by tornado
President Joe Biden on Friday morning steered clear of weighing in on his predecessor’s indictment, declining to respond to questions from reporters about that development before traveling to a Mississippi town that was hit by a tornado last week.
“I’m not going to talk about the Trump indictment,” Biden said.
A Manhattan grand jury voted Thursday to indict Trump, marking the first time in history that a former U.S. president will face criminal charges. With the indictment yet to be unsealed, the specifics aren’t clear, but the Manhattan district attorney has alleged that the 45th president broke the law for his role in a hush-money payment to an adult-film actress.
Related: Donald Trump has been indicted. Could he still run for president?
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Plus: How catch-and-kill became a defining term of Trump’s presidency — and set the stage for his indictment
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre offered comments about the Trump indictment that were similar to Biden’s.
“So you heard from the president just earlier this morning on the South Lawn before taking off for this trip to Mississippi,” she told reporters aboard Air Force One. “Look, we’re just not going to comment on any ongoing case, and I’ll just leave it there.”
Biden gave a speech Friday afternoon in Rolling Fork, Miss., announcing that the federal government will cover 100% of the cost of Mississippi’s emergency measures for a 30-day period. He also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will open disaster-recovery centers in four counties.
“I just want you to know, as you fight through this, you’re not alone. The American people will be with you. They’ll help you through it, and so will I,” he said in his speech.
Powerful tornadoes tore through parts of the Deep South a week ago, killing at least 23 people in Mississippi and taking an especially devastating toll on Rolling Fork.
Now read: What is an indictment, and what does being indicted mean for Trump?
And: Trump set to surrender Tuesday — here’s what’s next after his indictment
Plus: Trump indictment draws ‘lock him up’ cheers and ‘it is un-American’ jeers
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