Hundreds of Trump supporters pack Bronx rally as counterprotesters jeer outside

Hundreds of Trump supporters packed into Crotona Park in the Bronx on Thursday evening while counterprotesters jeered from the sidelines.

A sea of MAGA-hat wearing attendees rallied in support of the former president, who has spent recent weeks in a Manhattan courtroom several miles away from the South Bronx park. They chanted “USA!, USA!” before Trump took to the stage.

Trump started off with an encomium to his hometown, where he is widely unpopular.

“I’m thrilled to be back in the city I grew up in, the city I spent my life in, the city I helped build and the city that we all love,” said the presumptive GOP nominee in this year’s presidential election.

“We are going to turn New York City around and we are going to turn it around very, very quickly,” he added.

It was Trump’s first rally in the five boroughs in years. He saw significant gains with Bronx voters between the 2016 and 2020 elections — he got 15.7% of votes in the borough in 2020, up from 9.4% four years earlier.

Amid boasts that he’d boost the economy and fix the subway — saying, “We’re going to renovate New York Subway System so it no longer looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since 1932” — Trump promised to work with Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul as president.

“We are going to work with them and we are going to get this state and this city to a level that it’s never been before,” Trump said.

His appearance in the Bronx came as he’s been trying to boost support among Black and Hispanic voters.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re Black or brown or white or whatever the hell color you are, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “We are all Americans and we’re going to pull together as Americans.”

Trump went on to claim Black and Hispanic voters have been most affected by the recent surge in asylum seekers, drawing chants of “Build the wall!”

Javette McCoy, 43, a Bronx paraprofessional who works for the city, was among those who rejected Trump’s presence in her home borough.

“I just don’t like the man. I don’t understand how a man who has done so much bad, so much corruption, someone who has set the races against each other, can be welcome in the Bronx,” she told the New York Daily News. “He’s not for the people. He’s not even for his people. He’s for Donald Trump.”

Andrew Giuliani got the crowd pumped up before Trump took to the stage, noting that the Bronx has been home to many legendary Yankee players and saying Trump needs to be added to that list.

“Because tonight, Trump is playing the Bronx,” he said.

City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli, a Republican, and New York Young Republican President Gavin Wax were in attendance, while Bronx Councilman Oswald Feliz joined counterprotesters outside the rally.

“We have members of different races, different religions, people speaking different languages. These are the communities that were under direct attack by Trump almost every single day when he was the president,” said Feliz, a Democrat.

Graham Smith, a retired truck driver from Ocean County, N.J., came to the Bronx because he said he wanted to have a “fun time.”

“Most of the people are actually really decent and you know it’s a fun time,” said Smith, a lifelong Republican who wore a T-shirt featuring Biden pictured as a puppet attached to strings held by a hand with China’s flag on it.

“(Trump) is the only choice because Biden has been a disaster,” he added. “How much does it cost you to fill up your car? How much does it cost you to buy groceries for your family?”

Ruben Diaz, Sr., a former councilman from the Bronx, took to the stage before Trump went on. He led the crowd in a chant of “Donald Trump is welcome here! Donald Trump is welcome here!”

Campaign volunteers set up voter registration tables, and a flag reading “TRUMP 2024” was hoisted above the rally from a huge crane.

“We’re showing our support because we’re looking for a big turnaround with closing the borders, getting somebody in charge that can run the company financially,” said Thomas Auringer, CEO of U.S. Crane and Rigging LLC., a business partially based out of nearby City Island.

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