(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump on Thursday reacted for the first time on camera to the Georgia indictment that accuses him of being the head of a “criminal enterprise” to overturn the 2020 election, dismissing the criminal charges as a “witch hunt” and a “horrible thing for the country.”
“I have four of them now, if you look. I mean, this is not even possible,” Trump said on Fox Business. “Four, over the next, last couple of months. And frankly, it discredits everything. And they’re all very similar in the sense that they’re, there’s no basis for them.”
The former president also called on members of his party “to be tough,” saying that “the Republicans are great in many ways, but they don’t fight as hard for this stuff. And they have to get a lot tougher. And if they don’t they’re not going to have much of a Republican Party.”
After the 41-count Georgia indictment was unsealed Monday, Trump railed against the state charges on social media and announced plans to hold a “news conference” regarding his baseless claims of election fraud.
Thursday evening, however, Trump wrote on Truth Social that the event was “no longer necessary” because his legal team would present the evidence to support his claims in court.
In a post, Trump said, “Rather than releasing the Report on the Rigged & Stolen Georgia 2020 Presidential Election on Monday, my lawyers would prefer putting this, I believe, Irrefutable & Overwhelming evidence of Election Fraud & Irregularities in formal Legal Filings as we fight to dismiss this disgraceful Indictment by a publicity & campaign finance seeking D.A., who sadly presides over a record breaking Murder & Violent Crime area, Atlanta. Therefore, the News Conference is no longer necessary!”
Earlier Thursday, multiple sources familiar with the planning told CNN that the “news conference” was unlikely to go forward in any substantive capacity, if it were to happen at all.
Trump had informed a few of his advisers about the press event he announced for Monday at 11 a.m. at his Bedminster golf club. In the days since that post, Trump has been advised against holding one and cautioned that it could complicate his ongoing legal issues, one person told CNN.
Trump has made false claims about election fraud for nearly three years without proof. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger have both reiterated the election there was not “stolen.”
The former president’s comments about holding a “news conference” caught several members of his team off guard as his legal team focused on the details of his required surrender at a jailhouse in Georgia by next Friday. Liz Harrington, an aide to Trump, had prepared a report but it remains to be seen whether that document will still be released next week.
Harrington has been a serial promoter of lies about the 2020 election, as CNN has reported.
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