Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel mocked Donald Trump’s appearance on the witness stand at his civil fraud trial, joking that there was one tell-tell sign that the former president was rattled during his courtroom testimony.
The former president, the Trump Organizations and its associates are accused of deceiving banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and inflating his net worth on his financial statements.
Mr Trump has denied the allegations, and has instead claimed that his assets were actually undervalued as he took to the stand in court on Monday, giving rambling and chaotic responses to the state’s questions.
His appearance was the talk of the day, with Mr Kimmel poking fun at the former president on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night.
The late-night host joked that there was one clear sign the former president was rattled during his court appearance.
“You could tell he was rattled because the colour of his face was about eight shades darker than the colour of his hands,” Mr Kimmel said to laughter.
“He apparently didn’t want to leave little orange fingerprints on the Bible when he was sworn in.”
Mr Kimmel said the former president “put on quite a show” during his court appearance.
“He whined about being the victim of a witch hunt, he lashed out at the judge, he lashed out at the attorney general, he went on and on about nothing, to the point where the judge had to tell his lawyers to get him under control – which of course they can’t,” he added.
Mr Trump was admonished multiple times by Judge Arthur Engoron on Monday, who warned the former president’s attorney Christopher Kise to get his client “under control”.
“I beseech you, to control him. If you can’t, I will,” the judge said.
Mr Trump was also accused of inflating the value of his Mar-a-Lago estate during his testimony, calling the judge a “fraud” for not agreeing that Mar-a-Lago was worth more than $1bn.
Tax assessment’s put the value of the estate at about $18m.
“The fraud is on the court when you rule that Mar-a-Lago is worth $18m,” Mr Trump said. “I could give you a quarter of a tennis court that’s worth more than that.”
Mr Kimmel joked about this exchange during his show.
“Even though he’s on trial for inflating the value of his assets, he can’t help but inflate the value of his assets,” he said of the former president’s testimony.
He also pointed out that Mr Trump appeared to forget when he was president.
“He was asked if he was involved in preparing a financial statement in 2021, he said he wasn’t because he was too busy in the White House keeping our country safe from China and Russia,” Mr Kimmel said.
“And then the lawyer had to remind him he wasn’t president in 2021 and he didn’t live in the White House.”
In a pretrial decision in September, Judge Engoron ruled that Mr Trump and his company committed years of fraud by exaggerating the value of his assets and net worth on his financial statements.
The judge ordered that a court-appointed receiver take control of some of Mr Trump’s companies, putting the future oversight of Trump Tower and other marquee properties in question.
An appeals court has since blocked enforcement of that aspect of the ruling for now.
Mr Trump, who is currently the front-runner in the Republican presidential primaries, is facing a number of criminal indictments, at both the federal level and in state cases in New York and Georgia.
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