Hispanic Trump Rally Speaker Apologizes for Judge Merchan


A speaker at Donald Trump’s rally in the Bronx Thursday cited his Hispanic heritage while apologizing to the indicted Republican presidential candidate for the behavior of the judge in his criminal trial, Juan Merchan—who also happens to be Hispanic.

At one point during his remarks, Trump welcomed to the stage former New York City Councilman Rubén Díaz, who on paper is a member of the Democratic Party but opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, among a number of other unorthodox positions. Díaz, who would go on to endorse Trump, mentioned the hush-money trial underway in Manhattan, where closing arguments are set for early next week, and—like Trump himself has often done—attacked Merchan.

“I am here for a variety of reasons, but I want to tell you first, that as a Puerto Rican, as a Hispanic, I want to apologize to you for the conduct of Judge Juan Merchan,” Díaz said. “As a Hispanic, I want to apologize. He has been used to destroy you, but we know better than that.”

Those remarks came just a few days after Trump made what appeared to be discriminatory comments about Merchan based on his country of birth, Colombia.

“The judge hates Donald Trump,” he said Tuesday outside the courtroom. “Just take a look. Take a look at him. Take a look at where he comes from. He can’t stand Donald Trump. He’s doing everything in his power.”

A gag order imposed by Judge Merchan—which Trump has violated nine times—bars him from talking about witnesses, potential witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff and their families, but not Merchan himself or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump, for his part, has taken full advantage of the carveout.

“The Judge ‘assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a ‘Case’ that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME,” he complained in a Truth Social post last March.

Merchan also presided over the tax fraud trials of two Trump Organization companies, and sentenced the organization’s former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to jail at Rikers Island after he pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

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