United States

Trump Gets Break From Hush Money Trial, Hops Back To Campaign In Swing States

On his day off from criminal trial, former President Donald Trump held rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan, addressing key campaign themes such as immigration, the economy, foreign policy, and opposition to President Joe Biden.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Freeland, Mich., Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Photo: AP

Former President Donald Trump took a break from his criminal trial in a Manhattan court to dive back into the campaign trail, hosting consecutive rallies in two key battleground states.

While his demeanor in court has been described as irritated or lethargic, with allegations even suggesting he nodded off at one point, Trump appeared energized during a rally outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday, addressing an enthusiastic crowd for approximately ninety minutes.

Covering a range of topics, Trump reiterated his campaign's key themes including immigration, the economy, foreign policy, and his opposition to President Joe Biden.

True to form, Trump frequently ad-libbed his remarks, remarking, "I'm 92% off teleprompter," implicitly criticizing his Democratic rival for relying heavily on scripted speeches.

Earlier this week, Trump was fined $9,000 for making disparaging public statements about individuals involved in his ongoing trial, centered around a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic actress alleging an affair with Trump.

Addressing his legal woes briefly in Wisconsin, Trump claimed, "I got indicted - think of it - for nothing," accusing the judge of bias and hinting at a Democrat-dominated area. Despite a gag order, Trump continued to criticize Justice Juan Merchan, stating, "Unfortunately it's a 95% or so Democrat area."

Trump also touched on his other legal challenges and boasted about his poll numbers, which according to recent polls, depict a tight race with Biden.

A new Emerson College Polling/The Hill swing state survey showed Trump slightly ahead of Biden in several crucial states, prompting optimism among his supporters who believe the ongoing trial will ultimately bolster his popularity.

According to Nancy Ridge, a supporter from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Trump's trial will resonate with lower-class individuals who understand the flaws in the justice system. Similarly, Jerry Cleppe, another Trump supporter, viewed the trial as advantageous, citing the attention it garners as beneficial.

During the rally, Trump also addressed pro-Palestinian student protests at US colleges and praised the New York Police Department's handling of a situation at Columbia University. He urged college presidents to remove encampments and reclaim campuses from radicals.

Touching on abortion, Trump defended leaving the issue up to individual states, asserting that people are content with the diverse laws across states.

Following his rally in Wisconsin, Trump proceeded to host another event in Michigan before his scheduled court appearance in Manhattan on Thursday.