Trump isn’t happy about Biden’s ‘Dark Brandon’ social media post

Despite Donald Trump’s penchant for attacking his political rivals on social media, the former president has taken issue with a tweet where Joe Biden is seen sipping coffee from a “Dark Brandon” themed mug.

In a court document filed in Washington DC on Monday, Mr Trump’s attorneys complained that Mr Biden is capitalising on the former president’s legal troubles with the meme post.

“President Biden has likewise capitalized on the indictment, posting a thinly veiled reference to his administration’s prosecution of President Trump just hours before arraignment,” his attorneys wrote in the filing.

The court document then included a photo of the offending image, showing Mr Biden’s video post on his personal account on X – formerly known as Twitter.

In the video, the president is seen drinking a cup of coffee from a mug featuring an image of Mr Biden with lasers coming out of his eyes – also known as “Dark Brandon”.

In the clip, captioned “A cup of Joe never tasted better,” Mr Biden says: “I like my coffee dark.”

The social media post includes a link to buy the mug, which is part of the merchandise being promoted by Mr Biden’s campaign as he seeks to capitalise on a trend that was first adopted by his critics.

The “Dark Brandon” moniker was born out of the right-wing chant “Let’s Go Brandon” – a thinly-veiled chant meaning “f*** Joe Biden” – before it was adopted and turned into a merchandise opportunity by the president himself.

Mr Biden’s tweet was posted on Thursday morning, hours before Mr Trump was arrested and arraigned on charges over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and his role in the lead-up to the January 6 Capitol riot.

Mr Trump’s complaint about the “Dark Brandon” meme post came in a court document filed by his defence attorneys on Monday arguing against a protective order in the case.

Last week, special counsel Jack Smith’s office had requested a protective order in the federal criminal case limiting what Mr Trump can publicise about the case.

Donald Trump took issue with this social media post


Such an order would not stop Mr Trump from commenting on the case altogether, but would simply prevent him from disclosing evidence such as secret grand jury materials.

The request specifically referred to a seemingly threatening Truth Social post from the former president where he wrote: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

On Monday, Mr Trump’s defence team filed a motion pushing back against the protective order, claiming that his political rivals are campaigning off the back of his legal troubles.

They also claim a protective order would violate Mr Trump’s right to free speech in what they say is “a trial about First Amendment rights”.

Instead, Mr Trump’s defence is asking the judge to narrow limits of a protective order so that his right to free speech is protected.

Mr Smith’s office quickly filed a motion in response, accusing the former president of trying to “litigate this case in the media”.

Now, Judge Tanya Chutkan has ordered that a court hearing will take place this week over the issue of a protective order in the case.

The judge told both parties to give her two proposed dates and times by 3pm ET on Tuesday for when a hearing can be held over the matter.

The hearing must take place by Friday, she said, and Mr Trump is not required to attend.

The irony of Mr Trump’s issue with the president’s post comes as the former president has repeatedly railed against Mr Biden, the DOJ, Mr Smith and the judges overseeing his criminal cases in angry tirades on his Truth Social page.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden has made no public comments on Mr Trump’s indictment on criminal charges.

The former president was arrested last Thursday on four federal charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

The ‘Dark Brandon’ meme has been coopted the Biden campaign

(Twitter / TJ Ducklo)

He appeared in court in Washington DC for his arraigment that afternoon, where he pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The former president is accused of conspiring with his allies to overturn the 2020 election, in a bid to sabotage the vote of the American people.

A grand jury, which has spent months hearing evidence in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation, returned a federal indictment on 1 August hitting him with four federal charges.

The Justice Department alleges that Mr Trump and his circle of co-conspirators knew that he had lost the election but launched a multi-prong conspiracy to do everything they could to enable him to cling to power.

This included spreading “knowingly false claims of election fraud to get state legislators and election officials to subvert the legitimate election results and change electoral votes for the Defendant’s opponent, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., to electoral votes for the Defendant”, the indictment states.

Mr Trump and his allies also allegedly plotted to send slates of fake electors to seven “targeted states” of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin which President Joe Biden had won – to get them to falsely certify the election for Mr Trump.

The indictment also alleges Mr Trump tried to use the DOJ to “conduct sham election crime investigations”, sending letters to the seven states claiming that “significant concerns” had been found in the elections in those states.

As well as the false claims about the election being stolen from Mr Trump, the scheme also involved pushing false claims that Vice President Mike Pence had the power to alter the results – and pushing Mr Pence to “fraudulently alter the election results”.

When Mr Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol in a violent attack that ended with five deaths, Mr Trump and his co-conspirators “exploited” the incident by “redoubling efforts to levy false claims of election fraud and convince Members of Congress to further delay the certification based on those claims,” the indictment claims.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Smith placed the blame for the January 6 attack on the US Capitol firmly on Mr Trump’s shoulders.

Former President Donald Trump speaks before he boards his plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport after arraignment last week

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“The attack on our nation’s capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,” he said.

“As described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies. Lies by the defendant targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the US government – the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election.”

The indictment marks Mr Trump’s second federal indictment, his third criminal indictment overall – and arguably his most serious.

While the former president is the only person charged in the case, the indictment also refers to six co-conspirators who worked with him to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The six individuals – four attorneys, one Justice Department official and one political consultant – have not been named in the charging documents because they have not yet been charged with any crimes.

However, based on the details in the indictment and records already known about the events leading up to the Capitol riot, the identities are apparent as Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, Kenneth Chesebro and Boris Epshteyn.

This marks Mr Trump’s third indictment after he was hit with New York state charges following an investigation into hush money payments made prior to the 2016 election and then separate federal charges over his alleged mishandling of classified documents on leaving office.

He has pleaded not guilty in both of those charges as well.

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