At Mar-a-Lago, Trump rages against Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, calls arrest an ‘insult to our country’

Following his arraignment in New York City, former President Donald Trump returned to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he lambasted the Manhattan district attorney, proclaimed his innocence, and characterized his indictment as a “disrespectful act against our country.”

“I never thought anything like this could happen in America,” he said in campaign-style, grievance-filled remarks before a crowd of supporters. “The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it.”

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Trump landed at Palm Beach International Airport at approximately 6:40 p.m. He disregarded journalists in Manhattan, a place where he is widely disliked, before returning by plane to Florida, a state he won in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

During his speech, he referred to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, the Harlem Democrat who filed criminal charges against him, as a “radical left George Soros-backed prosecutor.” Soros, a billionaire Democratic donor, recently stated that he did not donate to Bragg’s 2021 campaign.

At one point, Trump labeled state Attorney General Letitia James, who is African American, a “reverse racist.” The former president previously insulted Bragg as an “animal,” resulting in allegations that he himself was being racist.

“Virtually everybody that has looked at this case, including RINOS and even hardcore Democrats, say there is no crime, and that it should never have been brought,” said Trump, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. “Even people who are not big fans have said this is not the right thing to do.”

During the day, Trump entered a plea of not guilty to 34 felony charges related to the falsification of business records that were linked to a payment made to Stormy Daniels by his former fixer Michael Cohen towards the end of the 2016 presidential campaign.

“This is not the right thing to do,” Trump, the first U.S. president ever indicted, said in his speech. “The world is already laughing at us for so many other reasons, like our open borders, our incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

He called Justice Juan Merchan, the respected Manhattan Supreme Court judge who is overseeing the case, a “Trump-hating judge with a Trump-hating wife and family.” Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina has said Merchan has a “very good reputation.”

The 76-year-old former Republican president, who has largely been avoided by networks over the past two years due to his tendency to make false claims, made a return to primetime TV and used the opportunity to criticize other criminal investigations that involve him.

He described his two impeachments as “Impeachment Hoax No. 1″ and “Impeachment Hoax No. 2″ He reiterated his lies about the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to President Biden but says he won.

But he said Democrats had “really stepped up their efforts by indicting the 45th president of the United States, who received 75 million votes … more than any sitting president in the history of our country.”

Although former President Donald Trump won nearly 75 million votes in the popular vote, President Joe Biden, who has announced his intention to run for re-election, won over 81 million votes.

Trump’s speech at Mar-a-Lago was relatively short, lasting just 25 minutes, which is unusual for the typically long-winded former president.