On Jan. 28, 2024, a viral screenshot purportedly showed a post on Truth Social by former U.S. President Donald Trump about his lawyer, Alina Habba. A Manhattan jury had ordered him two days earlier to pay $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll for defaming her in 2019 after she accused him of raping her in the 1990s.
The screenshot supposedly conveyed Trump’s response to the jury’s decision and his lawyer’s work. He allegedly wrote:
Alina may have lost the case. She may not have the experience that was needed in this very high profile case, probably higher profile than she ever thought she would be involved in at this point. Maybe next time, I’ll choose a law firm and lawyer that has some more practical experience in high ticket litigation. But she stood her ground and she learned. Stay strong. MAGA!
(Screenshot via X)
The above screenshot is fake. We found no evidence on Trump’s Truth Social account that he ever made such a post, nor any link that would indicate such a post had been archived. Had he said this, it would have been reported on in a number of reputable media outlets.
Furthermore, the X account that posted the screenshot noted that it was fake. @David_Leavitt wrote in a follow-up post: “If it was real it would’ve been in all caps.”
(Screenshot via X)
Trump did, however, comment on the case in a real Truth Social post, writing: “Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party. Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!”
During the trial, Habba frequently quarreled with Judge Lewis Kaplan — who even threatened her with jail time when she incorrectly introduced evidence into her closing arguments. Habba also said she and Trump would “immediately” appeal the verdict, indicating that she would still represent him. She was also defending him in a civil fraud case brought by the New York attorney general. According to the BBC, she is a senior adviser for MAGA Inc., a political action committee supporting Trump's 2024 presidential bid.
Carroll, who accused Trump of a decades-old rape in 2019, said he had defamed her by attacking her on Truth Social, at news conferences and during the trial. Her lawyers said she needed a large award to stop Trump from continuing to attack her. One day during the trial he made about 40 disparaging posts about Carroll on Truth Social, according to The New York Times.