Inside Trumps Club When the Indictment Call Came
It was a more familiar drill this time for the former president, his aides and allies, who cranked their political spin machine and fund-raising operation into action.
Former President Donald J. Trump was gathered with his core political advisers in the office near his poolside cottage at his club in Bedminster, N.J., when his phone rang around 7 p.m. on Thursday. On the line, according to two people with knowledge of the call, was one of his lawyers, informing him he had been indicted for the second time in less than three months.
Unlike the first indictment in a state court in Manhattan related to allegations he had paid hush money to a porn star during the 2016 election the current charges were federal, and stemmed from his conduct just before leaving office and for roughly 18 months after.
Mr. Trump, always compartmentalizing, immediately moved to a political reaction.
At 7:21 p.m., he did what he used to do so often when he was president: He personally programmed the chyrons on every news channel in the country. He broke the news of his own indictment drafting and then sending a three-part statement on his social media network, Truth Social, that soon interrupted the nighttime shows on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.