Former President Donald Trump took to the stage at his Mar-A-Lago residence in front of a crowd of long-time supporters – just hours after his official arraignment in a Manhattan court.

On Tuesday, Trump became the first former American President to face criminal charges. Trump, who is running for reelection in the 2024 Presidential race, attempted to project defiance to a crowd at his private residence while facing historic challenges.

“They can’t beat us at the ballot box, so they try to beat us through the law,” he claimed to a supportive crowd.

“We are a nation in decline, and now these radical left lunatics want to interfere in elections by using law enforcement,” he said.

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Trump, facing multiple criminal investigations into his own dealings with the 2020 presidential election, said supporters must fight back. “We can’t let that happen.”

Trump delivered the speech to hardline Trump supporters. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), former House speaker Newt Gingrich and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell all were in attendance.

The well-curated event came after days of planning.

Trump’s campaign was in lockstep with the former president throughout Tuesday’s travels. A professional photographer followed Trump all day, signaling the campaign would use the criminal case to rally support.

“The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it,” he stated.

Trump’s speech divided the media. After days of headlines about the historic criminal complaint, some news stations turned away from the former President.

MSNBC chose not to cover the speech. “As far as we can tell and what we’re prepared for here is that this is basically a campaign speech in which he’s repeating his same lies and allegations against his perceived enemies,” Rachel Maddow said on her show.

ABC cut away from the live broadcast after Trump alleged that President Joe Biden was leading the U.S. into World War III.

CNN and Fox News carried the full speech.

Trump’s headlines sidelined other Republican nominees from news coverage. Nikki Haley‘s visit to the southern border received limited attention. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law that allows Florida residents to carry concealed loaded weapons without a permit.

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