Chaotic scene cuts short Marjorie Taylor Greene’s pro-Trump rally in NYC

NEW YORK CITY — Chaos greeted U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene upon her arrival for a rally she hosted Tuesday in a small Manhattan park to support former President Donald Trump ahead of his arraignment on felony charges.

Supporters, critics and the media swarmed her the minute she arrived. Standing in the shadow of the courthouse where Trump was expected to turn himself in to face charges, Greene attempted to deliver remarks from a small platform by shouting through a bullhorn.

But her detractors banged drums and blew whistles to drown out the Rome Republican’s words. “Go back to Georgia!” one man shouted at her.

Others who, like Greene, had come to the small park to show their support for Trump did their best to overcome the cacophony, but they only added to it. Greene left the park after speaking about 10 minutes, whisked away in an SUV.

“It was getting too loud, and the pressure of, honestly, a lot of press pushing in so hard — we just were concerned about the safety of everyone,” Greene told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after leaving the scene. “So I went and got in the car.”

Her remarks, for those who could hear them, consisted of criticism of District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is leading this particular investigation that resulted in charges tied to payments Trump made to former porn star Stormy Daniels. The former president is accused of trying to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election by directing the payments to Daniels and others; he pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts.

“This is a witch hunt,” Greene told the AJC after her rally. “And we have to protest and stand up against it. Because no matter how anyone votes — Republican, Democrat, independent — I don’t think any of us want to live in a country where the government can be weaponized against a political opponent.”

Prior to Greene’s arrival, New York Congressman George Santos, the newly elected lawmaker who has been accused of embellishing his resume and lying about his background, walked through the park to show support for Trump. And right as Greene’s vehicle was pulling away, another colleague was arriving on the scene.

U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat from New York City, said he felt it was important to show up as counterprogramming to Greene.

“I’m from here, born and raised and went to schools here,” he said. “I cannot and we cannot allow her hateful rhetoric to become commonplace in New York City. So I was just here to push back on that.”

Back at the park there was a heavy police presence and metal barricades used to separate the Trump supporters from the anti-Trump demonstrators, who had unfurled a black-and-white-tapestry that said, “Trump Lies All The Time.”

With Greene’s rally short-lived, the anti-Trump protesters continued the drumming and noisemaking. The pro-Trump attendees who remained milled around, killing time until his scheduled arrival at the courthouse just one block away.

Among them was Maurice Symonette, a Miami resident who said he traveled north to show his allegiance to Trump. Symonette wore a white “Blacks for Trump” shirt, and he held an old sign that he used last year when he campaigned in support of Herschel Walker’s U.S. Senate race in Georgia.

Symonette said he believes the charges Trump faces will ultimately benefit his bid to return to the White House in 2024.

“I think this will catapult him into the presidency,“ he said.

Trump spent the night at his apartment at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan, and crowds began to gather outside the building Tuesday morning. His motorcade left the residence around 1 p.m., and he emerged from an SUV and waved to supporters at the courthouse about 20 minutes later. He left about two hours later without making any public comments. Reporters in the courtroom said the presiding judge asked Trump’s lawyers to request that he “refrain from making statements that are likely to incite violence or civil unrest.”

Trump was scheduled to deliver remarks Tuesday night from his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago. Greene said she would be catching a flight to meet him there to “show him love and support after a horrible day.” Her team said she paid for the multistate trip using campaign funds since the activities are political in nature.

“I consider President Trump a sincere friend, but also someone that I admire and am grateful for,” she said. “It’s important to be there to show him my support in person.”