Trump has a “real problem” with the judge in the criminal trial in New York

The expected renewed US presidential candidate Donald Trump says he has a “real problem” with the judge who is hearing his criminal trial in New York for covering up a hush money payment to a former porn actress. “We're not going to get a fair trial,” Trump said outside the Manhattan courtroom on Monday after jury selection ended for the day.

Trump also criticized Judge Juan Merchan for denying his request to attend a Supreme Court hearing next week. Trump argues that as a former president he should enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution – the country's highest court will consider the issue next Thursday. “The judge obviously won’t allow us to do that,” Trump said.

The 77-year-old has repeatedly criticized Merchan. Merchan rejected a request from the defense on Monday that he should withdraw from the proceedings because of bias. “We have a real problem with this judge,” Trump said.

He called the case, brought by Manhattan's top prosecutor, Democrat Alvin Bragg, a “political witch hunt.” “I'm not in Georgia or Florida or North Carolina campaigning like I should be doing,” Trump said. It's about influencing elections.

In the first criminal trial against a former US president, Trump is accused of forging business documents to cover up a payment to former porn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. Stormy Daniels was thus silenced about an alleged sexual adventure that she said she had had with Trump ten years earlier. Trump has pleaded not guilty.