Trump Campaign Insists Mid-Trial Snooze Never Happened

Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty Images
Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty Images

The Trump campaign furiously denied suggestions that he had fallen asleep during the first day of his historic criminal trial—calling the suggestion “fake news” while claiming falsely that the reporters who noted his sleepy courtroom demeanor weren’t even in the same room when it happened.

“This is 100% Fake News coming from ‘journalists’ who weren’t even in the court room,” the Trump campaign said in a statement Monday shortly after proceedings concluded.

The New York Times first reported that the former president, 77, seemed equal parts “irritated and exhausted” by Monday’s proceedings, with veteran Trumpworld reporter Maggie Haberman writing that just before Judge Juan Merchan called a lunch break “Mr. Trump appeared to nod off a few times, his mouth going slack and his head drooping onto his chest.”

He also appeared to jolt awake several times when his lawyer, Todd Blanche, passed along several notes.

The recess didn’t appear to give Trump much of a pop, either—upon returning to the Manhattan courtroom, a Daily Beast reporter spotted Trump sitting with his arms crossed and his eyes closed after apparently dozing off a second time.

He sat, unmoving, for close to three minutes with his head leaning slightly to one side before jolting awake, again, and shifting around in an irritated manner.

The former president is currently on trial for allegedly falsifying business records in order to cover up an affair between himself and an adult film star named Stormy Daniels.

Trump’s Out-of-Control Antics Simply Won’t Work in Court

The first day of the first criminal trial of a former president started with some fireworks when the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, led by Alvin Bragg, asked the court to sanction Trump for his repeated attacks against witnesses in the case.

In all, prosecutor Christopher Conroy asked the judge to fine Trump $1,000 for each post that violates an earlier gag order placed on the embattled former president, and delete any “offending posts” that remain on his social media profiles. “Further violations could result in jail time,” he reminded.

The judge did not immediately issue a ruling.

Trump’s apparent sleepiness sparked a slew of jokes online—many of which noted the irony of his many attacks on his 2024 opponent, President Joe Biden, who he long ago nicknamed “Sleepy Joe” and has attacked repeatedly as too old to serve as president.

Many social media users turned the insult around on Trump—enough that “#SleepyDon” was soon trending on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

All the usual suspects weighed in on the news, with The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Super PAC, speculating that he had tired himself out by staying up late posting rants to Truth Social.

“#SleepyDon was up late rage-posting on Truth Social,” the organization posted.

“‘Sleepy Joe’ is [a] projection, like everything else,” Republican Voters Against Trump said.

One user even joked that Trump looked like he could have used the help of longtime ally Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, which makes various bedding products.

Haberman did note in an afternoon appearance on CNN that the apparent sleepiness was not necessarily out of character for Trump, who also seemingly dozed off during other recent court appearances.

“There have been other moments in other trials, like the E Jean Carroll trial, where he appeared very still and appeared as if he might be sleeping,” she said.

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