NewsTrump "Devastated" to Cancel First Rally Since Hush Money Trial Began

Trump “Devastated” to Cancel First Rally Since Hush Money Trial Began

Former President Donald Trump said he is “devastated” to cancel a campaign stop in North Carolina on Saturday—his first rally since his New York hush money trial began.

The Context

Saturday’s event was set to be Trump’s first campaign rally since his New York criminal trial started earlier this week with the final jurors seated on Friday.

On Monday, Trump became the first former president in U.S. history to stand trial in a criminal case. Following an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, the former was indicted in March 2023 on charges of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels alleges that she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which he has denied. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and said the case against him is politically motivated.

Opening statements in the hush money trial are set to begin on Monday.

In total, Trump is facing four criminal indictments, both on the state and federal level. He has maintained his innocence in all cases and claims they are an effort to derail his 2024 White House bid.

Trump and President Joe Biden have both clinched the nominations of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively, and the rivals are set for a rematch in November.

What We Know

Some supporters of the Make America Great Again (MAGA) leader waited hours before the event was called off due to weather. Doors opened for attendees at 3 p.m. and Trump was slated to speak at the rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, a crucial battleground state in the presidential election, around 7 p.m.

However, roughly 30 minutes before he was sent to appear, Trump called into the outdoor rally from his private jet and asked everyone to leave immediately due to safety concerns as lightning flashed overhead.

“I’m devastated that this could happen, but we want to keep everybody safe,” Trump said. “It’s the most important thing and we want everybody there to be 100 percent safe. There seems to be some thunder and lightning and it’s a pretty big storm. So if you don’t mind, I think we’re gonna have to just do a rain check. I’m so sad. I’m in North Carolina right now. Waiting to go in. But they’re saying the weather is really getting bad, really, really getting bad. So we have to rely on the Weather Service and some of the officials and I just want to thank you, I’m so sorry. But we’ll do it again. It will do it bigger and better.”

Newsweek reached out via email on Saturday night to Trump’s representatives for comment.

Trump North Carolina Rally Canceled
Storm clouds roll in as attendees await the start of a rally for former U.S. President Donald Trump at the Aero Center Wilmington on April 20, 2024 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Trump’s return to the…  » …

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