Donald Trump goes from court to campaign at a bodega in his heavily Democratic hometown

Fresh from a Manhattan courtroom, Donald Trump visited a New York bodega where a man was stabbed to death, a stark pivot for the former President as he juggles being a criminal defendant and the Republican challenger intent on blaming President Joe Biden for crime.

Trump stopped by Sanaa Convenient Store, a tiny bodega that sells chips, sodas and other snacks. Trump aides said the former president and presumptive GOP nominee chose the store because it has been the site of a violent attack on an employee, a case that resulted in public criticism for the district attorney now prosecuting him.

The visit was Trump’s first campaign appearance since his criminal hush money trial began, making the presumptive GOP nominee the first former President in U.S. history to stand criminal trial.

Trump will be confined to the courtroom on most days, dramatically limiting his movements and his ability to campaign, fundraise and make calls, as opposed to Biden, who campaigned Tuesday in Pennsylvania, a key battleground state. Trump aides have answered by planning rallies and other political events on weekends and Wednesdays, the one weekday when court is not supposed to be in session. Plans also include more local appearances Trump can make after court recesses each day.

For months, Trump has assailed Democratic-run cities as crime-ridden and overrun with migrants who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, even as violent crime has fallen in the U.S. With his local campaign stop in Harlem, Trump blended that familiar, if often exaggerated, message with his promise to make a serious play at winning his native state despite its heavily Democratic lean.

“They want law and order … every week they’re being robbed,” Trump said of businesses in New York, as he tried to compare his prosecution with what happens on New York streets. “You know where the crime is? It’s in the bodegas.”

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