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Fact check: Trump makes false courthouse claims about bail and his campaign schedule

By Daniel Dale and Kristen Holmes, CNN

Washington (CNN) — Continuing his barrage of courthouse deception, former President Donald Trump made more false claims about his Manhattan trial on Friday.

Trump has been repeatedly inaccurate in his comments to media cameras upon entering and exiting the courtroom, where he is facing charges of falsifying business records. On Thursday afternoon, he falsely claimed that the judge’s gag order means he is not allowed to testify in the case.

On Friday morning, he acknowledged that he is allowed to testify — but he made new inaccurate claims about the case, falsely claiming he had been forced to post bail and that the trial is preventing him from campaigning this weekend.

Trump’s false claim about bail

Trump said: “New York City is a violent city; it’s become violent with the cashless bail. I’m the only one who has to put up bail.” 

Facts FirstTrump’s claim is false. Like many other New York defendants whose alleged crimes are non-violent, he didn’t have to put up bail. After his arraignment in 2023, he was released on his own recognizance — in other words, without having to post any cash. 

Trump did have to post a $200,000 bond in his separate election subversion case in Fulton County, Georgia (contributing 10% himself and working with a bail bonds company to cover the rest), but his clear Friday suggestion was that he is being treated uniquely harshly in New York. He was released on his own recognizance in his two federal criminal cases one in Washington, DC, over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, and one in Florida over his post-presidency retention of classified documents.

Trump’s assertion that New York City is “a violent city” is subjective. It’s worth noting, though, that violent crime in the city has plummeted over the last two decades, that the city has long had lower crime rates than many other big and small communities around the country, and that the impact of New York state bail reforms on the city’s recent crime levels is disputed.

Trump’s false claim about his schedule

Trump continued Friday to complain that the New York trial is preventing him from being on the campaign trail. This time, he said: “We were already marked down — months ago, we were marked down to be in Georgia today, where we’re doing very well at the polls, by the way. But that’s where we were supposed to be. We’re supposed to be in Ohio tomorrow and we’re supposed to be in Florida on the next day, doing — campaigning, essentially campaigning. So now I have to go through this trial day after day.”

Facts FirstTrump’s claim that the trial is preventing him from having campaign events this weekend is false. The trial is not being held on weekends (or on Wednesdays), so he is free to campaign wherever he wants on Saturday and the day after — and he is planning to fly to Florida. Trump is scheduled to headline a closed-door Republican National Committee fundraising luncheon at his Mar-a-Lago club on Saturday, and he is expected at the Miami Grand Prix Formula One race on Sunday. 

There is no apparent basis for Trump’s claim that he was supposed to be in Ohio on Saturday; he is planning to visit the state on May 15, another court-free Wednesday. And it’s unclear what his campaign internally “marked down,” but he had never publicly scheduled a campaign event for Georgia on Friday.

Trump held campaign rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan this Wednesday, and he had a rally planned for North Carolina last Saturday that was called off because of severe weather. However, he has regularly declined to visit swing states or hold public events on his days without court, opting instead to host dinners and meetings at Trump Tower in Manhattan or to play golf at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

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