This has sparked a lot of questions from the American people.
On Thursday, during the arraignment of former President Donald Trump in federal court in Washington, D.C., a seemingly casual greeting caught the attention of social media. The presiding judge, U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhaya, referred to him as “Mr. Trump” instead of using the customary “Mr. President.” Trump pleaded not guilty to all four federal charges brought against him, which were related to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into 2020 election interference and the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
According to Fox, the judge’s choice of address sparked speculation on how Trump would react to the lack of a presidential reference. Some pointed out that Trump likely preferred being addressed as “Mr. President,” while others saw the judge’s use of “Mr. Trump” as an indication of fair treatment and adherence to the rule of law.
Various critics of Trump viewed the judge’s words as a slight against the former president and anticipated that he might interpret it that way. They argued that other presidents would have been addressed as “President” in such proceedings.
However, some users referenced etiquette guides, which suggested that using “Mr. President” is reserved for the current officeholder in more formal settings. So, the judge might have been following protocol by using “Mr. Trump.”
The indictment arose from Smith’s investigation into potential interference with the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election, including the certification of the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021.
Judge Tanya Chutkan will preside over the trial, and Upadhaya mentioned that Chutkan intends to set a trial date of August 28. During the courtroom proceedings, the judge instructed Trump to sit closer to a microphone to answer her questions, starting with asking for his name and age.