Maggie Haberman Explains How Trump Got Away With More Than He Should Have On The Stand

New York Times veteran correspondent Maggie Haberman on Thursday weighed in on former President Donald Trump’s court testimony in the defamation damages trial writer E. Jean Carroll has brought against him.

Trump has already been found liable for defaming and sexually abusing Carroll, and the current trial is meant to determine the amount of damages he will have to pay as a result.

Trump, who took the stand for under four minutes on Thursday, said he didn’t intend to damage Carroll with his statements against her, prompted by a question from his lawyer, Alina Habba.

“No. I just wanted to defend myself, my family and, frankly, the presidency,” he added, according to The New York Times.

Judge Lewis Kaplan instructed the jury to disregard everything after the word “no.”

All in all, Haberman said, Trump was “controlled, comparatively speaking,” appearing to heed repeated warnings about the seriousness of the case and the “no nonsense” approach of Judge Kaplan.

“He is always pretty good at figuring out the bounds of what he can get away with,” she said of the former president on CNN’s “AC360.”

The journalist said that while Kaplan had repeatedly stressed to Habba that Trump’s testimony should only focus on the aspect of damages, Trump still managed to get in the things he wanted the jury to hear.

“So I don’t think he hurt himself,” Haberman told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Trump is expected back in court on Friday.

Asked about why the former president is intent on being present in Kaplan’s courtroom, Haberman said it stems partly from the fact that Trump still regrets not testifying in the original defamation trial, but it’s also an effort to rally his base as he continues his path to the GOP presidential nomination.

“He is very big on control and he is very big on believing that he’s his own best defender, so I think that’s a big reason,” she said. “But does it have advantages? Absolutely, and the court cases have become indistinguishable from the campaign trail.”

You can watch the whole segment below:

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