On Friday morning, Kathy Griffin held a press conference to address the backlash that’s hit since her “artistic” photo holding a fake decapitated Donald Trump head went viral. Suffice it to say, the press conference was wild.
In her press conference, Griffin, who lost her job at CNN over the photo, claimed she’s been bullied by Trump and his family since the scandal broke. “It’s quite clear to me that they’re trying to use me as a distraction,” she said. “I’m not going to be collateral damage for this fool. I think he’s a fool. I’m going to say Trump is a fool.”
Griffin, who said during the press conference that she considers herself an “out-there” and “in-your-face” comedian, has actually apologized since news hit that Trump’s young son, Barron, took the graphic photograph hard. For those who don’t know, part of the fallout from this shocking photo was that Trump’s son believed the photo was real.
When asked if she has fear for her career after this storm died down, Griffin replied, “Absolutely. I don’t think I will have a career after this. I think he — I’m gonna be honest — I think he broke me. He broke me, he broke me.” It was at this point Griffin appeared visibly choked up and distressed. She continued, “And then I was like, ‘No, this isn’t right. It’s just not right.’ I apologized because that was the right thing to do, and I meant it. And then I saw the tide turning and I saw what they were doing and I thought, ‘Oh, OK. They’re trying to spin this. They’re making it about Barron.’ Obviously, that was never my intent. I would never want to hurt anyone, much less a child. I started to see what was really happening and then it was a mob mentality pile-on.”
As far as Griffin is concerned, the apology she made after releasing the photos should be enough to get the Trump family off her back.
“I’m not afraid of Donald Trump,” she said. “He’s a bully. I’ve dealt with white guys trying to keep me down my whole life, my whole career. I’m a woman in a very male-dominated field. I love what I do. I love making people laugh more than anything in the world. I have learned over the years that sometimes when you do stand-up — and I’ve done it in a war zone, I’ve done it in a Wall Street hospital, I’ve done it at Carnegie Hall — sometimes people want a joke that’s out there and a little crazy. So, regarding the image that I participated in, the apology absolutely stands. I feel horrible.”
Griffin continued, “Trust me, if I could re-do the whole thing, I would have had a blow-up doll and no ketchup.”
“I make mistakes,” she added. “But I just wanted to say, if you don’t stand up, you get run over. What’s happening to me has never happened, ever, in the history of this great country, which is that a sitting president of the United States and his grown children and the first lady are personally, I feel, trying to ruin my life forever.”
This is a nuanced argument, for sure. Griffin’s protest art was covered under the First Amendment, so the president shouldn’t be personally involved in eviscerating her. However, the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the reaction Griffin has gotten from non-government officials. As someone who’s as anti-Trump as any blue-blooded liberal, even I can say that Griffin crossed a line.