CNN Fact-Checker Spots The Pattern With Donald Trump’s Latest Courthouse Lie

Former President Donald Trump was dunked on for a brazen lie he told outside the courthouse that is hosting his hush money trial on Thursday.

The presumptive GOP nominee falsely claimed that Judge Juan Merchan’s narrow gag order — which bans Trump from talking about the jurors in the case, witnesses and court staff, prosecutors and their families — meant he couldn’t take the stand to defend himself.

“Well, I’m not allowed to testify. I’m under a gag order, I guess,” Trump complained to reporters.

“That is just a lie,” CNN’s fact-check reporter Daniel Dale told “The Lead” anchor Jake Tapper on Thursday. Trump is “absolutely permitted to testify in his own defense and this false claim, this lie, is part of a pattern of former President Trump grossly exaggerating what the gag order actually says,” he noted.

The order doesn’t ban Trump “from speaking to political audiences, from delivering social media posts about politics and policy, from speaking to the media” nor does it “prevent him from attacking the judge, the district attorney prosecuting this case, President Biden, his political opponents,” said Dale.

“So this claim that the gag order means he can’t testify, it’s just conjured out of thin air,” he added. “Trump has gone from saying that he will testify, to he maybe will testify, to if it’s necessary, to now, ‘Whoa, whoa, I can’t testify, it’s out of my hands.’ But it’s in his hands. He can testify and he’s just making stuff up.”

Critics on X (formerly Twitter) also called out Trump’s latest untruth: