April 14, 2024

Outside the bougainvillea-covered walls of Mar-a-Lago, few are braving the Florida heat to share the outrage of their indicted leader, former President Donald Trump.

Trump had warned of massive protests and “potential death & destruction” if Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dared to indict him. But on Friday, hours after Bragg’s office announced the indictment by a Manhattan grand jury in the probe of hush money payments to a porn star during the 2016 presidential campaign, no more than 30 supporters gathered near Trump’s palatial home and private club in Palm Beach.

Throughout the day, small clutches of supporters gathered, waving American flags, some adorned with Trump’s face. They were outnumbered for most of the day by journalists.

Others drove by, honking their horns to cheer them on. Security guards asked onlookers to keep moving and not to block the entrance to Mar-a-Lago. Inside the manicured grounds, a few people played tennis. A flag stood at half mast.

“I am infuriated. This is a political stunt that’s not going to stick,” said Cindy Brown, a real estate agent from West Palm Beach in her early 50s, standing outside the club. “There are so many more important issues going on in our country like the economy, inflation and immigration.”

To her dismay, a man driving by shouted her down. “He’s getting what he deserves,” the man said, referring to Trump.

Ahead of the indictment, Trump had spent the past two weeks making incendiary posts on his social media site, Truth Social, about Bragg and the prosecutors investigating him in Washington, DC, and Georgia. The former president called for protests against Bragg, using remarks reminiscent of statements before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.

And at a March 25 rally in Waco, Texas, that drew 10,000 people, a defiant Trump also railed against the probes and predicted he’d prevail.

But once the indictment came, few showed up near Trump’s home among the mansions of Palm Beach. Florence Leone, 61, drove from nearby Delray Beach, Florida, to cheer on the ex-president. She hoped more supporters would come over the weekend.

“This is all BS,” she said, waving an American flag.

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