Angry and defiant: Trump fires back after his indictment

Former President Donald Trump speaks at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Tuesday Credit: AP

Donald Trump arrived back in Florida last night with a new and ignominious title: criminal defendant. But you would not have known that from the reaction on the streets. We watched his convoy slowly drive from the airport in Palm Beach to the Trump resort at Mar-a-Lago. Hundreds of his supporters lined the road and cheered him on. Inside his limousine, Trump lapped up the scene and waved to his ultra-loyalists.

Some people waved flags declaring "Trump 2024." Next to me was a man who wore a T-shirt that read, "The Proud Boys Did Nothing Wrong." Many Trump supporters see the indictment in the New York courtroom not as a source of shame but as a badge of honour. Almost everyone we spoke to is convinced that the criminal charges help - not hinder - Trump's ambitions to win back the presidency.

Back at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump launched a scathing attack on the New York Attorney General. In his first public comments - and against all common sense and legal advice - he also had stinging criticism for the judge himself, and even for the judge's wife.

Ahead of Trump's speech, ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore examines whether the former president's legal issues could boost his chances in the 2024 election

It's clear that Trump's ordeal in New York has only embittered him further. This was a litany of his greatest grievances and deepest conspiracy theories. He took no questions from journalists. We did speak to one of his top allies and fundraisers. Mike Lindell claims that the indictment has given Trump a huge boost and guarantees him a landslide victory next year.

This is of course mere bravado. There is no way to predict an election that is 18 months away.

Trump supporters explain why they're sticking by the former president despite Tuesday's criminal charge

But one thing is clear: Trump sees political opportunity in his legal peril. He believes that the 2024 election will be won by galvanising his core supporters, and that there is no centre ground remaining in American politics. Joe Biden believes the opposite - that his re-election is dependent on winning over moderates and centrists. Only one man can be right. That's the gamble of this moment.

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