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‘Trump is in a difficult position’: Ex-defense secretary explains how Biden can ‘dominate’

In order for Joe Biden the candidate to stay put as president, he must own April and all of autumn.

For the next couple months, while Donald Trump will likely be defending himself in a Manhattan criminal court against charges he manufactured a hush-money scheme to silence porn star Stormy Daniels to help him win the White House — former Defense secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta thinks it opens up a chance for President Joe Biden to up his ground game and go on the offensive.

“I think it’s a critical moment here,” he said during an interview on CNN. “I think Trump is in a difficult position. He’s gonna be going into a trial; he’s not able to go out and do a lot of campaign events.”

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Trump’s sidelining could end up being Biden’s gain.

“This is a moment where a Joe Biden can basically dominate in the campaign arena,” Panetta said. “So it is important that he get out to the country. It’s important that they well-planned these campaign events to make sure that they are successful and that he continues to fundraise; all of those things are critical to his ability to be able to lay the groundwork for a strong campaign in the fall.”

The 45th president was indicted last year on 34 felony counts for covering up an alleged affair with Daniels by paying out a six-figure sum through his former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen (who was convicted in the scheme and served prison time) as political cover 12 days before the 2016 presidential election, which he won.

The timing of the alleged incidents was critical since Trump was already reeling from the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” hot mic video that had the real estate tycoon suggesting grabbing women’s privates was acceptable if you’re a big shot celebrity like him.

The trial, set to begin jury selection on April 15, marks the first time a former president is being tried on criminal charges.

Trump has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.

Panetta made clear Biden has to mount an effective messaging strategy that stands on some of the foundations that landed him the presidency as Nov. 5 nears.

“That messaging has to be about health care, about the Affordable Care Act that messaging has to be about the economy and what needs to be done to make sure we continue to improve the economy that messaging has to obviously deal with reproductive rights which is a critical issue.”

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