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Trump Cancels North Carolina Rally Due to Storms

U.S.Trump Cancels North Carolina Rally Due to Storms

After former President Donald J. Trump sat in a courtroom in New York for much of the last week, Saturday night was supposed to herald a return to the campaign trail and the large rallies where he often gives long, freewheeling speeches.

With thousands gathered on the tarmac at an airport in Wilmington, N.C., Mr. Trump’s campaign was building anticipation. Two hours before he was set to speak, the campaign sent a fund-raising blast with a message from Mr. Trump: “They can’t keep me off stage! Did they think I would run and hide?”

Ninety minutes later, the skies darkened to charcoal and lightning flashed. As thunderstorms swept toward the area and the National Weather Service issued watches and warnings concerning dangerous winds and hail, the rally was canceled over safety concerns.

“We’ll make up for this very quickly at another time,” Mr. Trump said on a call he made into the rally that was broadcast over the speakers. “We’ll do it as quick as possible. I’m devastated that this could happen.”

But the cancellation, which Mr. Trump indicated was out of his hands, highlights the challenges that he may face as he tries to balance his presidential campaign with a criminal trial that will keep him busy through May.

For much of the last week, Mr. Trump’s public comments had been limited to social media posts and remarks to reporters outside the courtroom. His only campaign stop was at a bodega in New York City, in a state he overwhelmingly lost in the last two elections and that is not expected to be in play in November.

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