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Saturday, June 22, 2024

New Yorkers Support Trump Outside Trump Tower After Guilty Verdict

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The Messenger Speaks with Andrew Giuliani

(Pictured above) Supporters rally outside Trump Tower in NYC as Trump spoke in the wake of the guilty verdict.

Photo credits – Matt Meduri

In the landmark case against former President Donald J. Trump (R-FL), the verdict is finally in: guilty on all thirty-four counts of falsification of business records.


The charges are all considered felonies in New York, to which Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Each charge pertains to an invoice paid either from Trump’s personal account or from his revocable trust to his former attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen allegedly paid off adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about a relationship with Trump before he became president. Cohen sent invoices for each installation of his payment with the memo as “retainer” for his legal services. Bookkeepers logged the payments as legal expenses. Prosecutors assert Trump was aware he was sending “hush money” to Cohen and, vicariously, Daniels.


Judge Juan Merchan presided over the case and the jury found Trump guilty on each of the thirty-four allegedly falsified records.
Trump held a press conference at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue last Friday, which attracted hundreds of supporters and onlookers throughout the afternoon. The Messenger took the trip into Manhattan to interview spectators witnessing the historic moment. We also bumped into a familiar face and name around the Big Apple: Andrew Giuliani, 2022 gubernatorial candidate in the Republican primary, and son of former NYC Mayor and Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani (R).


“As much as a travesty as everything in this courtroom that has happened over the last six weeks has been, I think they’ve persecuted Donald Trump into the White House to become the forty-seventh president,” Giuliani told The Messenger. Giuliani said that if “somebody breaks the law, they deserve to go to jail and be reformed.” He then questioned why Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was not prosecuted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) over the infamous Steele Dossier, an opposition report financed by the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election to accuse Trump of collusion with the Russian government.


“What was the Steele Dossier filed as? A legal expense. What was the Cohen stuff filed as? A legal expense,” said Giuliani. “It’s selective prosecution.”


Giuliani says that he has regularly seen a path to 300 electoral votes for Trump in November. He says that he now sees 360 electoral votes as a likelier scenario.


“I think places like New Jersey, I think maybe even New York, may be on the map because I’m hearing from more and more Americans that maybe they didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2020, maybe they didn’t love some of the Tweets, but they’re saying they don’t want a country where politicians persecute their opponents. And that’s what’s happening,” said Giuliani.


A 300-electoral vote victory would be relatively modest, but more than the 270 required to win the election. A 360-vote victory is one that has not been mirrored since Barack Obama’s (D-IL) 2008 campaign, and one that has not been matched by a Republican since George H. W. Bush (R-TX) in 1988.


Giuliani answered The Messenger’s questions on the ground game in New York and which other states the Trump campaign is targeting to help expand the map.


“I think the Bronx rally was a big part of that [New York ground game],” Giuliani told The Messenger, referencing Trump’s surprise rally in Crotona Park just two weeks before the verdict. The rally is estimated to have drawn 25,000-30,000 supporters in one of the bluest counties in the nation. Giuliani says that Trump has been able to engage with voters in a way that “no other politicians in the history of our country have been to engage with.”


“I think Minnesota is really, really in play,” said Giuliani, referencing a state that has long eluded Republicans since 1976. Trump came within two points of carrying the state in 2016, but Biden improved the margin to about seven points in 2020. “I think they [the Democrats] have a real issue in both Minnesota and Michigan with the ‘no contest’ votes,” Giuliani said of the protest primary votes against Biden for his action regarding the war in Gaza.


Giuliani also said that Virginia is also in play for November. Recent polls show the state within the margin of error, despite Biden having won the state by about ten points in 2020 and no Republican having won it since 2004.


“My concern is getting to 270, and figuring out as many potential paths to get to 270 as possible. New York, I look at, is icing on the cake,” Giuliani told The Messenger. “It’s a place where I want Joe Biden to be able to have to spend resources here come September and October. If he could do that, then that’s a win. That’s less resources they’ll put into Pennsylvania. Maybe into places like New Jersey, which has been blue, but has had more of a tendency to go red than a place like New York.”


The Messenger made sure to speak with the dozens of Trump supporters outside Trump Tower, many of whom did not back Trump in the last election, but now solidly stand behind him this year.


Raul Rivera, a taxi driver and public policy advocate, says he last voted in a presidential election for Obama in 2008. He sat out the 2012, 2016, and 2020 elections, but now vehemently supports Trump in November.


“It [voting] wasn’t in me, I wasn’t into politics,” said Rivera. “I became a taxi driver in 2016 and started advocating for the drivers and I realized that what’s happening in the city [New York] is just disgraceful.”


Rivera describes himself as a “private person,” but felt he had to speak up on behalf of the drivers. He took chagrin with Democratic leadership who blame problems in the city on “white supremacy.”


“Many of the City Council members try to gaslight us with white supremacy, but it’s really our ‘own’ people blocking us,” said Rivera. “I’ve met with the Mayor [Adams] twice. Last time I checked, he’s not white. A lot of the Council members are black and Latino.”


Rivera, a proud New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, detests the racial politics that New York Democrats have played to entice minority voters to the polls. Rivera says that cab drivers, for one group, are not buying it.


“90% of the cab drivers are immigrants with a language barrier. Believe it not, they support Trump,” said Rivera. “A taxi driver in New York City is a small business owner. A lot of them support him.”


Rivera also says that observable minority support for Trump in places like New York is low because of the “hate” that it entices.


“You cannot walk around with a Trump hat or t-shirt because you’ll get punched in the face. There’s women getting punched in the face and they don’t even have a [Trump] hat on.”


Rivera says that he thinks that Trump will not only win the election, but that he will flip New York State.


“We’ve got to protect the Constitution, we have to have closed borders, we need legal migration. We don’t hate immigrants, New York City is the melting pot; it’s about safety,” said Rivera.


The Messenger also spoke with a relatively new Trump supporter, Sid Winston, a former custodian for the New York City courthouse in which Trump was convicted. Winston refused to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandates and has since been doing odd jobs to make ends meet.


“I bought into the fear mongering, so I abstained,” said Winston of his vote in the 2016 election. He wrote-in for Bernie Sanders (I-VT). He says after “Hillary Clinton stole the primary,” he was “done with the corruption.”


“I got a chance to try America under Trump, and the proof is in the pudding,” Winston told The Messenger. A Brooklyn native, Winston says that he got into finance “for the first time” under Trump because he “actually started to make money.”


“After Obama, there was this talk of a post-racial America, which I did not believe for one second,” said Winston. “You can call Trump a racist all you want, but I had enough opportunity under him. I learned how to do finances.”

Winston, a black voter, says that the predominately-black crowd supporting Trump outside Trump Tower on Friday is not just a “fringe” group.


“The Bronx rally should give you a clue of how much [black] support he has,” said Winston. He also said that New York is primed for “a flip.”
“Every New Yorkers is feeling the prices. Gas prices are high, and now we have the congestion tax,” said Winston, saying that high taxes is “just the Democratic Party altogether.”


Aura Moody (pictured above), an immigrant to New York, says that she proudly backs the Republican Party, as, historically, the party “funded black colleges and universities so people of color could earn an education,” and that the Democratic Party “opposed” suffrage for black people. Moody also says that her status as an immigrant doesn’t matter under the eyes of the Constitution.


“In the United States of America, we are not judged by the country that we are born in or skin color. We love this country, we believe in God, and we believe in the Constitution,” Moody told The Messenger. “All those immigrants who hate President Trump should go back to their own countries and come back to the United States when you appreciate what you have here.”


Moody called the Democratic Party the party of “slavery and white supremacy,” chastising Trump protestors who chanted “Guilty!”
One Trump supporter, an immigrant who escaped Communist China, who wished to remain anonymous, said that she supports Trump because “we don’t even deserve him.”


“He didn’t have to do any of this, and he’s done above and beyond,” she said. The supporter said that she could not vote in the last election since she was still immigrating to the U.S. from China. She takes umbrage with the Trump verdict because she can “smell the dictatorship from ten miles away.”


The supporter, who described herself as a “patriot,” said that immigrants and minorities are “waking up” and that “God is waiting for us to turn around to Him.”


“This is a hostile, globalist takeover of the earth. America will stand strong,” she said, saying that if the U.S. loses its place on the world stage, there are no comparable countries left. “Trump will win in such a landslide, that it will be too big to rig.”


Another supporter, a New York native who now lives in Texas, said he came to Trump Tower to “observe” the crowd and pay a visit to his home city while in town visiting family.


“I think the decision is very political, it’s only stuff you see in other countries with dictators when they arrest their political opponents,” he said.


Paul Dorman, a retired plumber from Brooklyn, said that Trump is “exposing the corrupt judicial system in New York.”


Dorman, a lifelong Independent, said that Trump “exposed” to him “what’s going on.”


“I vote for whoever I feel like, and Trump is the best,” said Dorman.


The Messenger did find some Trump protestors, who insisted that the “judicial system in America still works.” The protestor, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he last backed a Republican when he voted for Richard Nixon (R-CA). A Veteran of the U.S. Army, the protestor said that when he returned to the U.S., he was “shocked” to see the way the country was.


“I have faith in the New York people here, and we will come out and support Biden,” said the protestor of the tightening polls in New York. The lifelong New York native said he voted for Biden in 2020 and plans to vote to re-elect him.


“Employment is great, it’s a lot better,” he said. “Giving relief to students for their debt will offset inflation. He’s fighting for the people. Biden is making active, discernible decisions to take care of the citizens of the country. He’s the people’s president. What did Trump do? He’s a con artist.”


Biden’s latest lead in New York is now just seven points, according to the latest Emerson poll of 1,000 registered voters with third-party candidates factored in.

Matt Meduri
Matt Meduri
Matt Meduri has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Messenger Papers since August 2023. He is the author of the America the Beautiful, Civics 101, and This Week Today columns. Matt graduated from St. Joseph's University, Patchogue, in 2022, with a degree in Human Resources and worked for his family's IT business for three years. He's also a musician and composer with his sights set on the film industry. Matt has traveled all around the U.S. and enjoys cooking, photography, and a good cup of coffee.