WASHINGTON - Former President Donald Trump had a few parting words to share before he left D.C. Thursday.
Right before he boarded his personal plane to head back to New Jersey, Trump stopped on the tarmac at Reagan National Airport to talk to the media about his current situation and the state of the nation's capital – which he believes has declined since he left office in 2020.
"This is a very sad day for America, and it was also very sad driving through Washington D.C. seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti," he said.
The former president was back in town Thursday for a historic arraignment, where he pleaded not guilty to federal charges linking him to the Jan. 6 riot and the efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Prior to arriving in the nation's capital, Trump posted several messages on Truth Social.
"Look, it’s not my fault that my political opponent in the Democrat Party, Crooked Joe Biden, has told his Attorney General to charge the leading (by far!) Republican Nominee & former President of the United States, me, with as many crimes as can be concocted so that he is forced to spend large amounts of time & money to defend himself. The Dems don’t want to run against me or they would not be doing this unprecedented weaponization of "Justice." BUT SOON, IN 2024, IT WILL BE OUR TURN. MAGA!" he wrote. "I AM NOW GOING TO WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BE ARRESTED FOR HAVING CHALLENGED A CORRUPT, RIGGED, & STOLEN ELECTION. IT IS A GREAT HONOR, BECAUSE I AM BEING ARRESTED FOR YOU. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!"
His next court D.C. court date is scheduled for Aug. 28, however, Trump is not required to appear then. The next time he is due in front of Judge Tanya Chutkan has yet to be determined.
Read Trump's full speech below:
"This is a very sad day for America and it was also very sad driving through Washington D.C. seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti. This is not the place that I left. It’s a very sad thing to see it. When you look at what’s happening, this is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America. This is the persecution of the person that’s leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary, and leading Biden by a lot. So, you can’t beat it, you persecute ‘em or you prosecute ‘em. We can’t let this happen in America!"