Trump ridicules charges against him in first appearance since indictment

Donald Trump is undeterred by his recent charges and his opponents are struggling to keep up, ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith reports

Donald Trump has lashed out at charges against him as he used his first public appearance since being indicted to hit out at his critics and Republican opponents for the presidential nomination.

Speaking in a warm New Hampshire gym, the former president used the charged speech to call the indictments against him "b******t".

"How can my corrupt political opponent, crooked Joe Biden put me on trial during an election campaign that I'm winning by a lot, but forcing me nevertheless to spend time and money away from the campaign trail in order to fight bogus made up accusations and charges," he said.

He added: "So what they're doing, I'm sorry, I won't be able to go to Iowa today. I won't be able to go to New Hampshire today because I'm sitting in a courtroom on b******t because his Attorney General charged me."

Attendees of the speech then began chanting b******t.

Those prosecuting Trump tried to issue a protective order banning him from speaking publicly about the latest charges.

Donald Trump is almost certain to win the Republican nomination for the 2024 US election. Credit: AP

It was Trump's first appearance since he pleaded not guilty to federal charges in Washington last week.

The newest charges - Trump's third criminal indictment this year - centre on the tumultuous events of 6 January 2021 when rioters attempted to stage an insurrection at the US Capitol building.

The most serious charges he is facing call for up to 20 years in prison.

The former president also used the platform to attack his opponents for the Republican presidential nomination.

He singled out the two closest competitors in the polls, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Governor Christ Christie.

He said DeSantis should have run in 2028 but added "eventually they would have figured out - you know, you do need some personality if you’re going to be a politician, just a little."

He also made a passing reference to Christie's weight.

Ron DeSantis is second in the Republican polls. Credit: AP

Trump's words come as his opponents for the Republican primary shake up their campaigns.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis replaced his campaign manager with James Uthmeier, his chief of staff from his state office, to serve as his campaign manager on Tuesday.

The changes come after DeSantis made two big staff cuts in the past few weeks, laying off about a third of his staff in late July as the campaign faced financial trouble.

Before he worked for DeSantis, Uthmeier worked in the Trump administration.

Trump remains far ahead in the poll for the Republican nomination with DeSantis a distant second.

On Tuesday former Vice President Mike Pence became the eighth candidate to confirm their spot on the first televised debate in the race in Milwaukee.

Trump has questioned why he should participate in the debate given his commanding lead in polls.

Days after the debate takes place Trump is due to appear in court for the next hearing in the case relating to the January 20 riot.

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