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Indiana political insiders say Trump arrest post likely meant to control narrative

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Democratic and Republican insiders on Monday said former President Donald Trump’s post about being arrested likely has more to do with politics than actual impending events.

Trump turned heads over the weekend with a post to his Truth Social account, claiming he expected to be arrested on Tuesday in a case involving alleged hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump prior to his presidency.

Trump has denied the allegation and called the case “politically motivated.” The case is being handled through the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York City and is separate from the investigations into attempts to overturn election results in Georgia and into Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump ended his post with the words, “Protest, take our nation back!”

Former Indiana Democratic Party Chair and All INdiana Politics contributor, Kip Tew, tells News 8 he’s not sure anything at all connected to the case will happen on Tuesday. Tew says there have been no other leaks from any other sources.

“Considering how often that guy lies, it may just be a bunch of baloney,” Tew said.

Tew also says the rhetoric reminded him of Trump’s statements in the weeks leading up to the attack on the Capitol. He says it’s just another effort by Trump to destabilize the country and undermine rule of law.

Hamilton County Republican Party Chair, Mario Massillamany, says Trump’s lawyers might have told him he will need to surrender to the Manhattan DA on Tuesday or another day during the week, but it’s more likely the former president is trying to control the narrative.

Massillamany says posting such a statement on social media allows Trump to cast himself as the victim. Moreover, the Republican presidential primary is heating up, and Massillamany says Trump is likely looking for any advantage he can get over the rest of the field, particularly Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

As for Trump’s exhortation to “take our nation back,” Massillamany says it’s hard to say exactly how Trump’s supporters will respond.

“Will they take to the streets? Will they possibly protest? Will they post on social media? I think so,” Massillamany said. “Will they cause any sort of property damage or any sort of physical violence, I don’t believe that to be the case.”

In separate statements to News 8, IMPD and the Indiana State Police said they were monitoring the situation but had not heard of any protests or threats connected to any potential legal actions against Trump.

ISP Chief Public Information Officer Capt. Ron Galaviz says members of the public should be aware of their surroundings at all times, including posts on social media, and contact law enforcement immediately if they see or hear anything concerning. The FBI Indianapolis field office declined to comment.