Former United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump had harsh words for his country yesterday.

The U.S. is “going to hell”, he said in a defiant address after pleading not guilty to falsifying business records to hide damaging information ahead of the 2016 election.

The former president was charged with 34 counts in a Manhattan court in New York on Tuesday.

These relate to a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who says they had an affair.

Mr Trump is the first U.S. president in history to face a criminal trial.

“The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it,” the 76-year-old told supporters gathered at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida after he appeared in court.

He said that the “fake case” was simply part of a Democratic conspiracy to interfere with next year’s presidential election, in which he is running.

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