77-Year-Old Man Is Dozing Off in Court & His Supporters Think It’s a Masterful Gambit

The former president is on trial for allegedly making illegal hush money payments to sex workers while on the campaign trail in 2016, and the inventor of the "Sleepy Joe" moniker can't seem to stay awake himself.

77-Year-Old Man Is Dozing Off in Court & His Supporters Think It’s a Masterful Gambit
Trump sits with his attorneys at Manhattan criminal court in New York on April 16. Photo: Shutterstock

This week saw the beginning of former President Trump’s criminal trial for illegal hush money payments he allegedly made to adult film stars Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal on the campaign trail in 2016. And according to several reporters present in the courtroom, Trump—who ironically coined the moniker “Sleepy Joe” to attack President Biden—had trouble staying awake. On Monday morning, the New York TimesMaggie Haberman reported, “Even as a judge was hearing arguments on last-minute issues in a criminal case that centers on salacious allegations and threatens to upend his bid for the presidency, Mr. Trump appeared to nod off a few times, his mouth going slack and his head drooping onto his chest.” Trump nodded awake after his lead lawyer, Todd Blanche, “passed him notes for several minutes before Mr. Trump appeared to jolt awake and notice them.”

Then on Tuesday morning, Law360 journalist Frank G. Runyeon very colorfully reported, “Trump’s head slowly dropped, his eyes closed. It jerked back upward. He adjusts himself. Then, his head droops again. He straightens up, leaning back. His head droops for a third time, he shakes his shoulders. Eyes closed still. His head drops. Finally, he pops his eyes open.”

If it were anyone else, I’d find this behavior pretty inexplicable. The man is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records—if I faced nearly three dozen felony counts, I’d have trouble sleeping at night in my bed, let alone in court at my trial. But then again, this is a 77-year-old man! He’s part of a pretty drowsy, low-energy age demographic—even if his supporters are obsessed with fantasizing about him as a big, strong slayer of wokeness.

Speaking of his supporters, despite these fairly detailed reports about their president’s inability to stay awake, they… have their own explanation for Trump’s behavior. An unnamed, pro-Trump “insider” told Page Six the septuagenarian grandpa’s dozing is just an elaborate ruse to demonstrate how unbothered he is by, again, facing 34 felony charges: “He thinks it’s bullshit, it’s boring, it’s not worth his time,” the source said. Referring to his falling asleep, they continued, “It’s a ruse. Everything he does is calculated. He’s never fallen asleep. It’s not a thing he does. He goes to several meetings a day.”

I am suddenly reminded of the viral Twitter meme that depicts Elon Musk shutting a Tesla car door on his own dick while his fanatical supporters—of a similar level of cultishness as Trump’s—cheer on his “masterful gambit.” Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign has point-blank denied the detailed reports of his courtroom napping antics: “This is 100% Fake News coming from ‘journalists’ who weren’t even in the court room,” the campaign said in a statement on Tuesday. Sure, dude!

Falling asleep at your own criminal trial to own the libs is… a crazy narrative, don’t get me wrong! But it’s pretty much in line with Trump supporters’ years-long, varying delusions about his superhuman infallibility. If they’ve convinced themselves he actually won the 2020 election (he did not!), that’s not so far off from convincing themselves that instead of a 77-year-old man being a little sleepy, Trump is masterfully playing 3D chess to stick it to the woke mob. Some call it delusion—maybe it is! I call it elaborate, highly entertaining fan fiction, and I, personally, could use the entertainment to stay awake these days…

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