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Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday Alamy Stock Photo

Trump returns to campaign trail and calls for appeals court to reverse his felony conviction

Last week, Trump was found guilty on all 34 charges in his New York hush money trial.

DONALD TRUMP HAS returned to the campaign trail, his first appearance since being convicted on all 34 charges in a hush money scandal.

Last week, Trump became the first former US president to be convicted of felony crimes after a New York jury found him guilty of falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

He described the process as “a disgrace” and “a rigged trial”, and sentencing has been set for 11 July.

His first campaign appearance since this conviction came in the battleground state of Arizona, where he spoke to a crowd of thousands inside a mega church.

republican-presidential-candidate-former-president-donald-trump-speaks-at-a-campaign-rally-thursday-june-6-2024-in-phoenix-ap-photorick-scuteri Crowds at last night's event in Phoenix, Arizona Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Joe Biden won Arizona in 2020 by a wafer-thin 10,000 votes, and the state is expected to be crucial to both men’s chances of winning this year’s presidential election.

Trump is expected to appeal his conviction last week and at a Phoenix town hall last night organised by a conservative youth organisation, he called for the “appellate courts have to step up and straighten things out or we’re not going to have a country anymore”.

Trump also focused much of his hour-long speech and subsequent Q&A on the US-Mexico border.

This week, Biden issued an executive order barring migrants who enter the US illegally from claiming asylum when numbers surge past 2,500 in a day.

The order also makes it easier to deport people back to Mexico.

The curbs will remain in place until numbers fall back down below 1,500 illegal crossings a day.

Biden came under fire from all sides for the policy shift, which uses the same law that Trump once employed to ban migrants from Muslim countries when he was president.

However, Republicans see it as being too lenient and Trump last night vowed to reverse the order should he win the election.

republican-presidential-candidate-former-president-donald-trump-speaks-at-a-campaign-rally-thursday-june-6-2024-in-phoenix-ap-photorick-scuteri Trump at last night's rally Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

“On Day One of my administration, I will be rescinding Crooked Joe’s outrageous executive order,” Trump told a cheering crowd.

“And I will terminate every single open borders policy of the Biden administration,” he added.

Trump also claimed he would use economic measures to prevent migrants from entering the US, though he didn’t give details on what size or kind of tariffs he would impose.

“We have tremendous economic power… if China or some other country is behaving badly, we have things called tariffs that are so severe,” said Trump.

“We are going to be so tough and if a country is not going to behave, we’re going to tariff the hell out of that country.”

At one point, Trump also produced two Tic Tac containers – one of which was incredibly small – when claiming that the US would not have experienced inflation had he won the 2020 presidential election.  

republican-presidential-candidate-former-president-donald-trump-speaks-at-a-campaign-rally-thursday-june-6-2024-in-phoenix-ap-photorick-scuteri Trump using a Tic Tac prop to claim the US would not have experienced inflation had he won the 2020 election Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

He also embraced Joe Arpaio, commenting: “I don’t kiss men, but I kiss him… you know he’s 170 years old, but we want him back.”

In 2017, Trump pardoned Arpaio, a former sheriff convicted of violating a court order to halt traffic patrols that targeted suspected unauthorized immigrants.

Arpaio also believes in the “birther” conspiracy, which wrongly claims that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery. 

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Police Department said 11 people at the event were transported to hospitals, treated and released for heat exhaustion.

Officials said an excessive heat warning was in effect for the area during Trump’s town hall, where many of his supporters were unable to get inside before it reached capacity, and Phoenix set a new record high temperature of around 44C by mid-afternoon.

-With additional reporting from Press Association and - © AFP 2024 

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