"A sitting president of the United States, and his grown children, and the first lady, are personally — I feel — personally trying to ruin my life forever," said Kathy Griffin during a Friday press conference, framing herself as a victim of what she described as an abuse of power by the first family.
“What’s happening to me has never happened, ever, in the history of this great country,” said Griffin, presenting backlash against her photo shoot — which depicted a faux severed head of President Donald Trump — as historically unique.
Griffin presented herself as a near-martyr for and defender of free speech and expression while asking for public support:
This is America, and you shouldn’t have to die for [a joke.] The death threats I’m getting, they’re constant, and they are detailed, and they are serious, and they are specific. Today it’s me, and tomorrow it could be you.
Griffin cast herself as preemptively defending young girls' aspirations to become comediennes:
If I don’t stand up and say this, I’m afraid there’s gonna be some 12-year-old nerdy girl like me in Oak Park, Illinois, who’s gonna maybe be watching me to see what I do. And this bully, this president, of all people, is gonna come after me? ... I'm not laying down for this guy.
Waxing heroic, Griffin framed her comedy career as altruistic, assisting "the gay guy ... who's scared to come out."
"Honestly, it's not for me, it's for them," said Griffin of her press conference's purpose: to continue bringing enjoyment to her fans.
"I don’t want this to happen to anyone else," said Griffin, alleging that Trump had ushered in a new era of authoritarianism. "There’s been a change, a real shift change, starting about 18 months ago."
Flexing her "feminist" bona fides, Griffin claimed to have ongoing struggles against "older white guys:"
I’m not afraid of Donald Trump. He’s a bully. I’ve dealt with older white guys trying to keep me down my whole life, my whole career. I’m a woman in very male-dominated field. ... There's a bunch of old white guys trying to silence me. And I'm just here to say that's wrong. ... This wouldn't be happening to a guy. This is a woman thing ... I've been living this my whole career.
Griffin said she is being used as a “shiny object” by President Donald Trump to “distract from his FBI investigation.”
Griffin solicited legal representation from The Bloom Firm, founded by Lisa Bloom, a left-wing Democrat legal analyst with NBC and alumna of CNN/HLN.
Bloom and her mother, Gloria Allred, are left-wing Democrat lawyers who practice legal shakedowns of individuals and companies with allegations of sexism and racism. Both describe themselves as “feminists.”
Labeling herself a "civil rights attorney," Bloom described Trump as a "woman-hating tyrannical president" who is "attempting to ruin a comedian."
Bloom cast Griffin as a victim of anti-female sexism and misogynistic double standards, alleging that male artists were not subjected to the same standards as her client.
"She has been suffering through this," said Bloom of Griffin.
Bloom described Griffin's mock-severed-head photo shoot as a "parody of Trump's own sexist remarks taken to an extreme absurdist visual," pointing to the president's public feud with Megyn Kelly as its inspiration.
Griffin's "apology" on Twitter, said Bloom, was "heartfelt." The "apology," however, did not include a direct apology to Trump or his family.
WOODLAND HILLS, CA - JUNE 02: Kathy Griffin (C) and her attorney Lisa Bloom speak during a press conference at The Bloom Firm on June 2, 2017 in Woodland Hills, California. Griffin is holding the press conference after a controversial photoshoot where she was holding a bloodied mask depicting President Donald Trump and to address alleged bullying by the Trump family.
Watch the press conference below.
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