On Monday, The New York Times reported that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt exploited the coronavirus pandemic to bypass a federal rule that would prohibit President Donald Trump from holding an event inside the Lincoln Memorial.
“While Mr. Trump and many other presidents have hosted inauguration concerts and gatherings on the memorial’s steps, any event meant to draw an audience inside the interior near Daniel Chester French’s sculpture of a seated Lincoln is prohibited. The area beginning with the marble staircase where the columns start constitutes a boundary protected by federal law,” reported Katie Rogers. “So on Sunday, when the president sat down with two Fox News anchors at Lincoln’s marbled feet during a coronavirus-focused virtual ‘town hall,’ it was because a directive issued by David Bernhardt, the secretary of the interior, had allowed them to do so.”
“Given the extraordinary crisis that the American people have endured, and the need for the president to exercise a core governmental function to address the nation about an ongoing public-health crisis,” wrote Mr. Bernhardt in a government order, “I am exercising my authority to facilitate the opportunity for the president to conduct this address within the Lincoln Memorial.”
Trump drew controversy at this town hall when he suggested he has been treated worse than Abraham Lincoln himself.
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