Trump reschedules Nebraska rally because of severe weather
GREENWOOD, Neb. (WOWT) - Former President Trump’s “Save America” rally scheduled for Friday night at I-80 Speedway has been postponed until Sunday.
Trump emailed a statement at 3:01 p.m. calling off Friday night’s event because of severe weather forecasted in the area Friday night. Instead, the former president is planning to appear at a postponed rally Sunday.
“The most important thing is to keep you safe, and that cannot be done with such a terrible forecast,” Trump’s release states, thanking those who had already lined up for the event.
Gates opened at 3 p.m. Friday, two hours ahead of the event’s planned start time. Trump was expected to take the stage at 8 p.m. Supporters started lining up at 10 a.m., some of them opting to camp out at the site overnight Thursday.
“I hope it’s not fake news that we had to make this decision,” Herbster told the crowd already gathered for the event.
Instead, the former president plans to deliver his remarks at 5 p.m. Sunday — still at the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood — following other speakers slated to start at 2 p.m. Doors open at noon, with event parking available starting at 6 a.m.
Read the delay announcement
“Thank you to all who waited in line for our Save America Rally tonight in Greenwood, Nebraska. Because of severe weather, including the possibility of 60 mph+ wind, hailstorms, and maybe even tornadoes, I will not be coming to Nebraska tonight, but rather, weather permitting, will be there this Sunday night, May 1st. The most important thing is to keep you safe, and that cannot be done with such a terrible forecast. Thank you to Charles W. Herbster and his wonderful staff for working so professionally with us. See you on Sunday!”
Former Trump advisor Kellyann Conway, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, and Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster were scheduled to begin speaking at 5 p.m. Trump was scheduled to take the stage at 8 p.m.
Vendors were setting up Thursday afternoon, and a few people were already camped out at the venue then, too. Dozens of supporters were already gathering Thursday afternoon in the grassy parking lot.
Friday morning, the mood felt festive in spite of the soggy grounds saturated by Thursday night’s rainfall. There continues to be a threat of severe weather in the area Friday night.
There were large tents set up at the venue behind the bleachers, not far from the stage, but 6 News has not received any responses to requests for information about any sort of contingency plans should the weather become an issue.
Trump was already talking crowd sizes, issuing a statement just before 10:30 a.m. about his “constant complaint” that reporters don’t show the numbers of people in attendance at his rallies when those numbers are in the tens of thousands.
Read Trump’s Friday morning statement
“Remember when Bernie Sanders used to draw crowds of 3,000, 4,000 or even 5,000 people, and the press would go absolutely wild talking about how big Bernie’s crowds were showing them from all different angles and making it sound like the greatest show on earth—but when I draw 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 or in one case 87,000 people, reporters do not report it and cameras are not allowed to show how big the crowds are. It is a constant complaint I make during speeches. Turn the cameras, I say, turn the cameras to show the crowd, but they refuse to do it, not even the networks that are even a little bit on our side. The good news is, the people of our Country get it, and they get it like never before!”
Friday night’s rally wasn’t going to be held in the speedway’s grandstand. Event organizers had rows of white folding chairs set up in a nearby grassy area surrounded by multiple sets of flag-topped bleachers, some topped with signs stating “Nebraska welcomes Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States,” a large American flag atop a stretched hydraulic arm waving above one of them.
Trump’s event comes less than two weeks ahead of Nebraska’s primary election on Tuesday, May 3. The former president endorsed Herbster in October, but the Republican candidate has made headlines in recent weeks after filing a defamation lawsuit against Nebraska State Sen. Julie Slama following accusations from her and several other unidentified women; Slama countersued on Monday.
The I-80 Speedway in Greenwood is about 36 miles southwest of Omaha.
Parking for the event was available starting at 8 a.m. General admission registration was available online via donaldtrump.com.
Nebraska’s primary election is Tuesday, May 10. Frontrunners in the contentious Republican race alongside Herbster include Jim Pillen, endorsed by Gov. Pete Ricketts; and Brett Lindstrom, endorsed by Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. Also on the GOP ballot will be Theresa Thibodeau, Donna Nicole Carpenter, Michael Connely, Lela McNinch, Breland Ridenour, and Troy Wentz.
10/11 Now reporter Bayley Bischof contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this story indicated an incorrect primary election date. 6 News regrets the error.
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