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Defiant Trump rages at ‘scam’ guilty verdict, brands Biden’s America a fascist state and calls judge ‘the devil’ during fiery 40 minute rant – but Nigel Farage says he ‘backs convicted President more than ever’

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Donald Trump has vowed to appeal the ‘scam’ guilty verdict in his hush money trial and launched attacks at Joe Biden for the ‘rigged’ case.

The former president launched into attacks on the ‘tyrant’ judge in his criminal trial during a fiery 40 minute rant from Trump Tower in Manhattan on Friday, just one day after his landmark conviction.

Trump was found guilty of 34 felony charges in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels who had alleged the two had sex.

The defiant GOP hopeful, returning to campaign trail on Friday, said his lawyers would be ‘appealing this scam’ conviction and alleged the trial was ‘all done by Biden and his people’.

He further attacked Biden, thought to be his opposition in the upcoming election, branding him ‘the dumbest president we’ve ever had’ and slammed the Democrat for putting him under a gag order when he ‘can’t put two sentences together’.

No former president or presumptive party nominee has ever faced a felony conviction or the prospect of prison time. But the guilty verdict has seemingly fired up his base with Nigel Farage, a Brexit campaigner who previously campaigned with Trump, branding the verdict as ‘disgrace’ and claiming ‘Trump will now win big’.

Donald Trump (pictured at Trump Tower today) spoke to reporters at his namesake tower in Manhattan on Friday, vowing to appeal the 'scam' guilty verdict in his hush money trial and launched attacks at Joe Biden for the 'rigged' case

Donald Trump (pictured at Trump Tower today) spoke to reporters at his namesake tower in Manhattan on Friday, vowing to appeal the ‘scam’ guilty verdict in his hush money trial and launched attacks at Joe Biden for the ‘rigged’ case

Trump (pictured during his his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 30, 2024) was found guilty of 34 felony charges in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels who had alleged the two had sex

Trump (pictured during his his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 30, 2024) was found guilty of 34 felony charges in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels who had alleged the two had sex

After weeks of primarily speaking from an aging courthouse in Manhattan, Trump returned to campaign mode Friday in the atrium of his Trump Tower, the brass and rose marble lobby where he descended his golden escalator to announce his 2016 campaign nine years ago next month. 

Trump initially started attacking Biden on immigration and tax policies before pivoting to his case, growling that he was threatened with jail time if he violated a gag order. 

Speaking to reporters, he argued the verdict in his criminal trial was illegitimate and driven by politics and sought to downplay the facts underlying the case. 

‘It’s not hush money. It’s a nondisclosure agreement. Totally legal, totally common,’ he said.

In a message aimed to galvanize his supporters, he cast himself as a martyr, suggesting that if it could happen to him, ‘They can do this to anyone.’

‘I’m willing to do whatever I have to do to save our country and save our Constitution. I don’t mind,’ he said. ‘So we will continue the fight.’

He also launched into attacks on the judge in his criminal trial and continued to undermine New York’s criminal justice system. 

He branded Judge Juan M Merchan as a ‘tyrant’, claiming he ‘wouldn’t allow us to have witnesses, you wouldn’t allow us to talk, you wouldn’t allow us to do anything.’

‘We’re going to be appealing this scam,’ Trump added. ‘We’re going to be appealing it on many different things.’

He went on to blame Biden for the trial, claiming the Democrat’s administration had been working ‘in conjunction with’ the Department of Justice.

‘This is all done by Biden and his people,’ he said, adding: ‘I am under a gag order from a man who can’t put two sentences together, given by a court.

‘This is done by Washington, and nobody has ever seen anything quite like it.

‘And I am not allowed to talk about it… but you are allowed to talk about it and I hope you do.’

Trump's supporters gathered outside Trump Tower before the former president and Republican presidential candidate held a press conference after being found guilty over hush-money charges

Trump’s supporters gathered outside Trump Tower before the former president and Republican presidential candidate held a press conference after being found guilty over hush-money charges

He reiterated that the trial had been ‘rigged’, criticized how his defense’s request for a venue change was refused and alleged that ‘witnesses on our side were literally crucified’.

‘It they can do this to me they can do this to anyone,’ Trump said at the start of his address. ‘These are bad, sick people.’

Although he had appeared tense and deeply angry, his words pointed and clipped, when he emerged from the courtroom immediately after the verdict Thursday, Trump appeared more relaxed during Friday’s address. 

He defaulted into his standard rally mode, complete with acted-out stories and did not take any questions from reporters.

He said that he was ‘honored’ to face trial and said he would continued to fight, despite having been found guilty on all 34 counts against him.

‘We’re going to fight,’ Trump vowed. ‘I’m wired in such a way that a lot of people would have gone away a long time ago.’

He picked apart intricate parts of the case and trial proceedings as unfair, alleging that the $130,000 payment to his former aid Michael Cohen to silence Daniels was a just a ‘legal expense’ and ‘standard stuff’.

‘Hush money, hush money,’ he said. ‘It’s not hush money, it’s a non-disclosure agreement. Totally legal, totally common. Everyone has it.’

Trump said he wanted to testify – a right that he opted not to exercise – and raised the specter of being charged with perjury for a verbal misstep.

He said: ‘The theory is you never testify because as soon as you testify – anybody, if it were George Washington – don’t testify because they’ll get you on something that you said slightly wrong.’

Testing the limits of the gag order that prohibits him from publicly critiquing witnesses including Cohen, Trump called his former fixer, the star prosecution witness in the case, ‘a sleazebag’.

He claimed the prosecution wanted to know if he was ‘a bad boy here, bad boy there’ and argued that Daniels’ ‘salacious’ testimony of their alleged sexual encounter had ‘nothing to do with the case’.

He also circled back to some of the same authoritarian themes he has repeatedly focused on in speeches and rallies, painting the US under Biden as a ‘corrupt’ and ‘fascist’ nation.

He argued that under Biden there were ‘record levels of terrorism pouring into our country’, alleging the so-called terrorists have come into the US with tents, propane tanks, and cell phones.

‘They’ve never seen anything like it,’ he said. ‘It looks like they’re building an army.’

Trump also alleged that the ‘great veterans’ living in America are ‘living on the streets like dogs’ while illegal migrants are ‘living in luxury hotels and cities all over our country run by Democrats’.

He added: ‘Our kids can’t have a little league game anymore because we have tents and migrants living on the fields.’ 

A supporter of Donald Trump waits outside Manhattan Criminal Court for his motorcade to pass after the guilty verdict announced against the former president on Thursday, May 30, 2024

A supporter of Donald Trump waits outside Manhattan Criminal Court for his motorcade to pass after the guilty verdict announced against the former president on Thursday, May 30, 2024

Honorary President of the Britain's right-wing populist party Reform UK Nigel Farage speaks during a campaign meeting, on May 30, 2024, ahead of the UK general election of July 4

Honorary President of the Britain’s right-wing populist party Reform UK Nigel Farage speaks during a campaign meeting, on May 30, 2024, ahead of the UK general election of July 4

His son Eric Trump and daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, joined him, but his wife, Melania Trump, who has been publicly silent since the verdict, was not seen.

Outside, on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, supporters gathered across the street flew a giant red ‘TRUMP OR DEATH’ sign that flapped in front of a high-end boutique. 

A small group of protesters held up signs that said ‘Guilty’ and ‘Justice matters.’

On Friday morning, Trump’s campaign announced it had raised $34.8million as donations poured in after the verdict. That’s more than $1million for each felony charge and more than his political operation raised in January and February combined.

Trump and his campaign had been preparing for a guilty verdict for days, even as they held out hope for a hung jury.

On Tuesday, Trump railed that not even Mother Teresa, the nun and saint, could beat the charges, which he repeatedly labeled as ‘rigged.’

His top aides on Wednesday released a memo in which they insisted a verdict would have no impact on the election, whether Trump was convicted or acquitted.

The news nonetheless landed with a jolt. Trump listened as the jury delivered a guilty verdict on every count. Trump sat stone-faced while the verdict was read.

His campaign fired off a flurry of fundraising appeals, and GOP allies rallied to his side. One text message called him a ‘political prisoner,’ even though he hasn’t yet found out if he will be sentenced to prison. 

Attorney Alina Habba (L) looks on as former U.S. President Donald Trump walks to speak to the media after being found guilty following his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 in New York City

Attorney Alina Habba (L) looks on as former U.S. President Donald Trump walks to speak to the media after being found guilty following his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 in New York City

The campaign also began selling black ‘Make America Great Again’ caps, instead of the usual red, to reflect a ‘dark day in history.’

Aides reported an immediate rush of contributions so intense that WinRed, the platform the campaign uses for fundraising, crashed. 

The $34.8million raised Thursday did not include what Trump collected at his in-person fundraiser or any donations that continued to come in online Friday.

Trump is set in the upcoming two months to have his first debate with Biden, announce a running mate and formally accept his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention. 

But before he goes to Milwaukee for the RNC, Trump will have to return to court on July 11 for sentencing. He could face penalties ranging from a fine or probation up to four years in prison.



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