On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Republicans are exploring the possibility of President Donald Trump giving his presidential re-nomination speech from the South Lawn of the White House.
“The decision to stage the most high-profile political event of Trump’s reelection campaign at the national seat of presidential power would be just the latest break by Trump in presidential norms, which have historically drawn clear lines between official business of the president and campaign events,” reported Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey. “People involved in the planning said that no final decision had been made on the location of the Republican convention’s celebratory events. Trump abandoned plans to hold the full convention in Charlotte, and later Jacksonville, Fla., over concerns that large crowds could spread the novel coronavirus.”
“Under federal law, government employees and property are generally barred from being used for political purposes, with notable exceptions,” continued the report. “The Hatch Act, which prevents federal officials from certain forms of political activity at work, exempts both the president and the vice president from any restrictions.”
The logistics of the Republican National Convention have been in constant flux due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Originally, the convention was to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Trump ordered parts of the convention, including his announcement speech, moved to Jacksonville, Florida over a dispute with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper about COVID-19 restrictions on crowd size — a decision that left GOP officials scrambling to pay for the switch. But with Florida experiencing a sharp outbreak itself, and local officials saying they can’t guarantee safety, they were forced to back off the Jacksonville plans as well.