Facing possible indictment in a Manhattan hush-money investigation — in what would be the first charges against a former president in U.S. history — former President Donald Trump heads to Waco, Texas, Saturday evening for the first rally of his 2024 presidential campaign.
The central Texas campaign stop comes just days before the 30th anniversary of a government attack on the city that ended in dozens of deaths and lingering anti-government sentiment.
Some extremism experts say that’s why the former president chose Waco for his first big rally, while others argue that the deep red city’s political significance stands independent of its history.
Here’s what we know ahead of the rally:
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This is the first rally of Trump’s 2024 campaign Broadcast live on C-SPAN.
Updated guidance shows he will begin speaking after the plane lands at 6:35pm Eastern.
What happened in Waco 30 years ago?
Thirty years ago, in 1993, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco and were met with gunfire from the occupants.
A stalemate ensued and ended violently after 51 days. A tear gas attack and fire destroyed the compound, killing dozens. In all, 86 people died, including 28 children and four federal agents.
The trial has become a symbol of government failures and has been used to propel anti-government conspiracy theories over the years.
What time does Trump speak tonight?
Trump will begin delivering remarks at 5 p.m. local time, or 6 p.m. Eastern, though doors to the Waco Regional Airport rally open at noon.
The rally began with a performance by Texas-based rocker Ted Nugent, who played the Star Spangled Banner on his guitar.
Why is Trump in Waco?
There are plenty of reasons why Trump’s 2024 campaign chose the Texas city.
Waco is about as central as you can get in Texas within 200 miles of the Republican Party surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
The region is deep red and ripe for Trumpian politics.
Contributed by: Erin Mansfield, David Jackson, Will Carless
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