“Such a frickin’ idiot”: Knives out in TrumpWorld for “dumb” new lawyer in Manhattan DA case

Some of former President Donald Trump’s lawyers have trashed Joe Tacopina, his newest attorney representing him in the Manhattan case stemming from the 2016 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Several of Trump’s other lawyers have privately described Tacopina as “dumb” and a “loudmouth,” Rolling Stone reported.

Another source described him as “such a frickin’ idiot.”

But the infighting among Trump’s lawyers has reportedly been stoked by Trump himself.

“He pisses off others with his antics, but he’s a blunt object that Donald Trump wants, apparently,” a source told Rolling Stone.

Tacopina has found himself at the center of recent news, recently lunging to grab documents from MSNBC host Ari Melber during an interview about the payment to Daniels.

“Ari, that is–if that’s what you’re gonna consider a lie, a lie to me is something material under oath in a proceeding,” Tacopina said. 

“I didn’t say perjury. I said a lie,” Melber retorted.

“Yeah, but that’s not a lie,” Tacopina said. 

“That’s not a lie?!” an incredulous Melber pressed.

“Could you put the paper down, put the paper down, we don’t need that,” the lawyer told Melber.

More recently, Tacopina was accused of disclosing private information that Daniels shared with him while searching for representation. Daniels handed over her communications with him to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office. Tacopina, who denied any conflict related to Daniels, also stated that he never met her.

But Tacopina disclosed that he may have spoken with Daniels in a 2018 CNN interview. 

“I can’t really talk about my impressions or any conversations we’d had because there is an attorney-client privilege that attaches even to a consultation,” Tacopina said at the time.

Tacopina backtracked after the clip surfaced, saying that his comments “lacked clarity” and were made to “terminate the inquiry, because someone on Stormy Daniel’s behalf did ask whether I would represent her, and I did not wish to discuss the matter on television.” His firm issued a statement that “there was no attorney-client relationship.”

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Before legally representing Trump, Tacopina also stated on CNN that if Daniels’s version of the hush-money payments was accurate, he felt the money could be considered an in-kind campaign contribution, meaning that it would have needed to be disclosed on finance forms. 

“This could be looked as an in-kind contribution at the time of the election. This is a real problem,” Tacopina said before representing Trump. “And they both, and I’m telling you this, the reason we’re here I strongly believe is because of the words of both Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.”

Tacopina has since described Daniels’s payment “plain extortion.” He told Rolling Stone that his past comments were hypothetical, in contrast to his current opinion of the case which more closely resembles his understanding of its facts.

“It was a hypothetical question asked by a T.V. host and I answered by twice qualifying my answer with  ‘if those are in fact the facts!!’,” Tacopina said.”

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Tacopina clapped back at his naysayers for their anonymity, saying, “When anonymous sources make comments criticizing others it reveals jealousy and cowardice. Anyone who takes a look at my track record of trial success and the results I have achieved for my clients couldn’t seriously criticize my work or my intelligence.”

“My results are documented and if you truly wanted to do an honest and thorough story you would speak to the clients I served over the years instead of printing false allegations from ‘unnamed sources’ who are jealous that they haven’t been chosen in this case or the other many high profile cases I have had. The story loses journalistic value and calls into question the integrity of the story and the credibility of the so-called anonymous sources,” he added.

Trump’s legal team has been plagued by infighting in recent months, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The report noted that Trump’s team has “suffered frequent turnover due to clashes over personality and legal strategy,” and that his attorneys have  “questioned each other’s tactics and competence behind the scenes and have urged contradictory approaches.”

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