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Storms threaten to complicate Trump July 4 event
The Independence Day weather forecast is threatening to put a damper on President Trump's "Salute to America" event on the National Mall.
A spokeswoman for the Department of the Interior said the agency expects Thursday's events "to take place rain or shine." But with a chance of storms in the Washington, D.C., area, it's unclear whether the president's desired flyover and overall attendance could suffer.
"Visitor safety is always a top priority and we are working with our interagency and law enforcement colleagues to ensure the safety of all who attend, including in the event of inclement weather during the day," Molly Block said in a statement.
Updates will be available on the National Park Service website, she added.
The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reported that temperatures will reach into the 90s on Thursday with high humidity. Scattered storms are possible between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m., and could pop up randomly in the evening.
Trump's event, which are scheduled to include remarks from the president and a military flyover, is set to take place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. An extended fireworks show will begin shortly after 9 p.m.
While the fireworks are likely to continue through light rain, neither the Pentagon nor the White House responded to requests for comment about how the weather threat could affect plans for Trump's speech or military demonstrations.
The weather could also keep some visitors away from the Mall. Trump is known to fixate on crowd sizes, as he did after his inauguration and some campaign rallies.
The president promised the Fourth of July event would be "the show of a lifetime." He also defended the cost of the spectacle, which has come under intense criticism from Democrats who worry the president is co-opting a holiday and turning it into a de facto campaign rally.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday night that the National Park Service will divert $2.5 million in entrance fees intended to improve parks nationwide to cover costs for Trump's Fourth of July event.