Donald Trump has claimed that the Manhattan district attorney has launched a criminal investigation into a secret money payment to a porn star, a week after claiming he would be arrested within days.
The former president told a small group of reporters aboard his private jet on Saturday night that prosecutors would have had no choice but to give in to the recent evidence.
Wearing an open-necked shirt and a bottle of Diet Coke by his side, Trump cut a relaxed figure as he traveled back from his first campaign rally in Waco, Texas, bristling at any suggestions he found “frustrating” in the last days.
‘I have no idea what’s going to happen…’ he said. I think they’ve already dropped the case. From what I understand… I think it’s fallen.
But I think if anything happened to the case, it’s a bogus case.
Earlier on Saturday, Trump told fans in Waco that Bragg had “nothing” against him. He insists that a $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels weeks before the October 2016 election was not a campaign finance violation. Trump also denies a 2006 one-night stand with the artist.
Donald Trump speaks to reporters, including DailyMail.com, on his plane as he returned from Waco, Texas, on Saturday. He said that he believed the Manhattan district attorney was dropping the case.
Trump shared his claim that Alvin Bragg handed over the case to him just a week after writing that he expected to be arrested within days.
This is a remarkable change. Last Saturday he posted a message that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday and calling on his supporters to protest.
But the day came and went. And a grand jury hearing evidence in New York did not sit down Wednesday or Thursday, prompting speculation in the Trump world that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case was falling apart.
Trump spent the days going about his usual routine of heading to his West Palm Beach golf course, maintaining a business-as-usual image.
Flying home Saturday night from addressing what aides said was a crowd of 25,000 in Waco, Texas, he scoffed at any notion that the investigation had been a diversion.
“I’m not frustrated by anything,” he said in response to a question. ‘I just gave a two-hour speech. I’m not first frustrated to do that.
‘I just got polls where I’m 40 points ahead. Look, this is what I hate about fake news.
But he faces growing legal danger from a series of criminal investigations. The most immediate relates to an alleged hush money bribe of Daniels during his 2016 White House campaign.
He was recently invited to testify before a Manhattan grand jury, a sure sign that he is finishing his job and may be about to hand down an indictment.
“The Biden regime’s use of weapons to enforce the law against its political opponents is something straight out of the Stalinist Russia horror show,” he said at Saturday’s rally in Waco.
Trump has always denied any relationship with adult film star Stormy Daniels
A hush money payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is at the center of an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trump described the case as politically motivated and has used it to raise money. Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, an outspoken Democrat, said Saturday that he believes the case against Trump is political.
On Saturday, Trump said he was convinced that the testimony of attorney Robert Costello had cast doubt on the evidence provided by his former mediator Michael Cohen, who said he made the payment and was later reimbursed by Trump.
And he said that the appearance of a letter from Cohen’s lawyer, saying in 2018 that Cohen had not been reimbursed, had destroyed the case against him.
“Two of the most respected lawyers in the country, one wrote a letter about Cohen that made him want to be a liar,” Trump said.
“The other one did even more, so he went before the grand jury and explained that this guy was a liar.”
Trump has kept up a steady stream of attacks on Bragg. On Friday, he was accused of going too far when she shared a photo of him wielding a baseball bat alongside a picture of the Manhattan prosecutor.
He also warned about ‘death’ and ‘destruction’.
But he told reporters traveling with him that violence was not the answer.
“I don’t like violence and I’m not in favor of violence,” he said. “But a lot of people are upset and they know they rigged an election, they stole an election, they spied on my campaign. They did a lot of bad things. They made a false file.
He referenced the case during his 90-minute speech in Waco, along with other investigations he has faced since winning the 2016 election.
Organizers said about 25,000 people turned out to see Donald Trump in Waco, Texas.
Trump gives halfway to five members of the traveling press as he arrives to board his private jet at West Palm Beach International Airport for the flight to Waco, Texas.
“The Biden regime’s use of weapons to enforce the law against its political opponents is something straight out of the Stalinist Russia horror show,” he said.
“From the beginning it’s been one witch hunt and one bogus investigation after another.”
His choice of location and timing sparked controversy even before his plane landed in Texas.
The demonstration comes amid the 30th anniversary of the siege of Waco, a 51-day standoff that ended with a raid by federal agents on the Branch Davidians religious sect that resulted in 86 deaths.
Since then, the area has become a magnet for far-right groups.
The left-wing Houston Chronicle said the decision to host the event in Waco over the anniversary was much more than a whistle-blower to far-right Trump supporters and cabalists.
“The most apt metaphor is the blaring air horn of an 18-wheeler Mack truck hurtling down I-10,” the newspaper said in an editorial.
The former president took ‘Trump Force One’ from Palm Beach to Waco, Texas on Saturday
Trump shared this article showing these images side by side: one of the former president with a baseball bat and another of the Manhattan district attorney looking scared.
Supporters gathered for a tailgate party Friday in Waco ahead of Trump’s arrival.
Photographers have watched Trump’s 757 private jet at West Palm Beach International Airport for any sign the former president is about to take the flight to New York. Instead, he prepared Saturday for the trip to Waco, Texas.
Trump supporters have been present this week along the highway that runs from West Palm Beach to Palm Beach and the former president’s home in Florida.
The newspaper added that Waco had become “a sanctuary for the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers and other extremists and anti-government cabalists.”
The Trump campaign said the location was chosen for its position between the large population centers of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, and the site’s infrastructure.
But the siege metaphor is unlikely to go unnoticed by supporters of Trump, who expects to be indicted by a grand jury in New York and faces three other major investigations.
Trump stoked the excitement last weekend, posting a message saying he expected to be arrested Tuesday.
But the week came and went with the former president sticking to his usual routine of playing golf on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.