Former US President Donald Trump arrived at a Manhattan court today (Monday) as the fraud trial against him began.

Outside the courthouse, Trump called the trial a "continuation of the single greatest witch-hunt of all time."

"We have a racist attorney general who is a horror show who ran on the basis that she's going to get Trump before she knew anything about me," he said. "It's a scam, it's a sham."

"Just so you know, my financial statements are phenomenal," he claimed. "There were no defaults, there were no problems. It was like a perfect client."

"The crime was against me because we have a corrupt district attorney, we have a corrupt attorney general, and it all comes down from the DOJ. They're totally coordinating this in Washington because I'm the leading candidate. I'm leading Biden by 10 points, I'm leading the Republicans by 50 or 60 points."

New York Attorney General Letitia James has charged Trump and his sons Eric and Don Jr. in a civil trial alleging that they committed fraud by inflating the value of their properties in order to obtain more favorable loans and insurance policies.

James is seeking to impose a $250 million fine and to bar the three men from doing business in New York