Biden blasts Trump's reaction to verdict, urges Middle East cease-fire deal in speech

President Joe Biden said in a speech Friday that his predecessor, Donald Trump, was found guilty and "it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible, for anyone to say this is rigged just because they don’t like the verdict."

His comments came the day after the conclusion of Trump’s criminal trial in New York, when the former president was convicted on all 34 felony charges in a hush money case stemming from the 2016 election.

Trump has claimed falsely the trial against him was rigged and connected to the Biden administration.

Biden said the jury was chosen like any other in the U.S., and they heard five weeks of testimony and Trump had "every opportunity" to defend himself. He said no one is above the law.

After remarking on the trial, Biden turned to the situation in the Middle East. He said Hamas is "no longer capable" of carrying out another large-scale attack on Israel and urged Israelis and Hamas to come to a deal to release remaining hostages for an extended cease-fire.

"This is truly a decisive moment," Biden said as he spoke of a three-phase deal that Israeli officials have offered Hamas. "Israel has made their proposal. Hamas says it wants a cease-fire. This deal is an opportunity to prove whether they really mean it."

Israel launched its war in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted about 250. Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of around 30 more.

Cease-fire talks ground to a halt at the beginning of the month after a major push by the U.S. and other mediators to secure a deal, in hopes of averting a planned Israeli invasion of the southern city of Rafah.

The talks were stymied by a central sticking point: Hamas demands guarantees that the war will end and Israeli troops will withdraw from Gaza completely in return for a release of all the hostages, a demand Israel rejects.