Donald Trump's legal spokesperson Alina Habba claimed the former president "doesn't do what's popular or what's right" before correcting herself during a live TV interview.
The gaffe took place on Thursday during an appearance on conservative network Newsmax, with Habba later clarifying to host Greg Kelly that Trump "only does what's right, he doesn't do what's popular."
On Thursday a court filing revealed Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 13 charges he faces in Georgia over claims he acted illegally while trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in the state. In doing so the former president waived his right to arraignment, meaning he won't have to make a personal appearance in court next week to hear the charges read out.
However, in a blow to the former president, Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp has rejected calls for a special session of the state's general assembly to be convened to enable the investigation, defunding and possible impeachment of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Donald Trump speaks to the media at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, after being booked at the Fulton County jail on August 24, 2023. On Thursday his attorney mistakenly said the former president "doesn’t do what’s popular or what’s right" during a live TV appearance. Joe Raedle/GETTY
Reacting to this development on Newsmax Habba said: "Elected officials have to do what's popular and sometimes not what's right and that's a problem. That's why I think people get nervous with Trump. He doesn't do what's popular or what's right."
At this point Habba stumbled over her words for a couple of seconds, before issuing a correction. Referring to Trump she clarified: "I should say he only does what's right, he doesn't do what's popular and you've got somebody like [Governor] Kemp trying to make a name for himself and he frankly has. He's made headlines because he's going against the leading candidate for the Republican Party and frankly the leading presidential candidate period."
A 27-second clip of the exchange was posted on X, formerly Twitter, by the Acyn account which shares video of notable events in U.S. politics. The footage was viewed more than 500,000 times, and received over 1,200 likes.
Habba: I think that’s why people get nervous about Trump. He doesn’t do what’s popular or what’s right— or or I should should say he only does what’s right pic.twitter.com/RsuMv11k0J — Acyn (@Acyn) September 1, 2023
Newsweek has contacted Donald Trump for comment via the press inquiry form on his official website.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Governor Kemp said: "Up to this point, I have not seen any evidence that DA Willis' actions or lack thereof warrant action by the prosecuting attorney oversight commission.
"As long as I am governor, we're going to follow the law and the Constitution, regardless of who it helps or harms politically."
Kemp has repeatedly rejected Trump's claim that the 2020 election was rigged in favor of Joe Biden.
Speaking in August he said "the 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen," adding: "For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward, under oath, and prove anything in a court of law."
Trump has also been charged over claimed he orchestrated the payment of hush money to a pornographic actress ahead of the 2016 presidential election, mishandled classified documents after leaving the White House and acted illegally while attempting to block Joe Biden's election win at a national level. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts, and insists the charges against him are politically motivated.