Trump retreats to Mar-a-Lago after arraignment

  • Former President Donald Trump retreated after his prime-time speech on Tuesday
  • His campaign reported having raised $10 million since the indictment
  • Few Republicans attended Trump's speech, and wife Melania was also absent

Former President Donald Trump speaks at his Mar-a-Lago estate Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Palm Beach, Fla., after being arraigned earlier in the day in New York City. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(NewsNation) — After his arraignment on campaign finance charges in Manhattan on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump retreated to his Mar-a-Lago home while his wife was conspicuously absent.

The former president kept a low profile on Wednesday after cameras had caught his every move for the previous two days. 

Trump’s indictment has been helping with his fundraising and some polling numbers, but it remains to be seen how this helps him in the long run, and what the impact will be with independent voters ahead of his third bid for the White House. 

From the start of his unprecedented journey from Mar-a-Lago to his historic arraignment in New York City to his prime-time remarks back in Florida on Tuesday night, much attention has landed on the former president. It’s soaking up almost all of the oxygen from the other 2024 presidential contenders and potential challengers. 

Overlooked in the arraignment-day news cycle were former United Nations ambassador and onetime South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s trip to the border, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis taking on Disney World, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott announcing upcoming visits to Iowa, New Hampshire, and his home state, adding to speculation that Scott will announce his candidacy soon. 

Meanwhile, the current president seemed to take a back seat as he discussed the dangers of artificial intelligence. It was almost as if Trump was back in the White House with all the attention he was garnering. 

The Trump campaign claims they had raised $10 million as of Tuesday, since news of the indictment broke. While Trump appeared in court, his campaign released a new T-shirt with a fake mugshot and the words “not guilty.” 

As far as Trump’s mood, his team responded to comments saying he is sad over his arrest by telling NewsNation those that think they know what they’re talking about are thirsty and desperate and they should “stop acting like cockroaches scurrying around in the dark.” 

As far as his supporters, Republicans rallied behind the president with statements and tweets, but few actually showed up in person. The only lawmakers inside Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night were Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

That was especially notable given that Congress is currently in recess, meaning other Republican leaders didn’t have to be in Washington, D.C.

Also missing last night was Trump’s wife Melania, who was by his side for his 2024 presidential announcement five months ago. On Tuesday night, she didn’t show, though Trump’s children Eric, Don Jr. and Tiffany were present. Ivanka was celebrating the start of Passover with her family in Wyoming. 

Melania Trump was previously seen with the president last week, dining with him after news of his indictment broke. 

But after he was arrested over alleged hush money payments for alleged affairs, the former first lady was nowhere to be found. 

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