Trump made his first remarks to supporters in Florida after being arraigned at a New York court / Photo: AA

In his first remarks following his arraignment on Tuesday in a Manhattan courtroom, former US President Donald Trump said the only crime he has ever committed is "fearlessly" defending the US and a "fake case" was brought against him to interfere with the upcoming 2024 election.

"I never thought anything like this could happen in America," Trump told his supporters in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

Mr Trump who is now the first-ever former or current US president to stand trial on criminal charges said the case was "an insult to our country."

Earlier during his arraignment, Mr Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a Manhattan courtroom and left the courthouse after hearing the charges to return to Florida where he delivered speech to his supporters.

He said "the only crime I've committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it."

"This fake case was brought only to interfere with the upcoming 2024 election — and it should be dropped immediately," he said.

Accusing the Democrats of attacking him “with an onslaught of fraudulent investigations,” Trump recalled his impeachment following allegations over Russia and Ukraine and allegations over President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

”And now this massive election interference at a scale never seen before in our country, beginning with the radical left, George Soros backed prosecutor Alvin Bragg of New York, who campaigned on the fact that he would get President Trump,” he continued.

Criticizing the Biden administration’s policies, Trump recalled the America's “incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan,” saying it was the “most embarrassing time in our country's history.”

He also noted that the economy “has been crippled by the biggest inflation we have seen in more than 60 years.”

“But now they have really stepped up their reference by indicting the 45th president of the United States who received 75 million votes, which is more than any sitting president in the history of our country,” he added.

"Our justice system has become lawless," Trump said, adding "they're using it now -- in addition to everything else -- to win elections."

“We are a nation in decline. And now these radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement. We can't let that happen.

“With all of this being said, and with a very dark cloud over our beloved country, I have no doubt nevertheless that we will make America great again,” he added.

The judge overseeing Trump's criminal case has set the next in-person hearing for Dec. 4.

TRT Afrika and agencies