Appearing on MSNBC with Andrew Mitchell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued that Trump’s plan to accept the GOP nomination from the White House should be “rejected right out of hand.”
“It’s a diversion, and that is what he is, a master of diversion” Pelosi says.
Speaker Pelosi says President Trump accepting the GOP nomination from the White House “is something that should be rejected right out of hand.”
“It’s a diversion, and that is what he is, a master of diversion.” pic.twitter.com/GUJWHnEw68
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 5, 2020
Per CBSNews, President Trump is now mulling the White House as a locale for his Republican National Convention acceptance speech. He has already canceled plans to host festivities in Jacksonville, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Well we are thinking about it. It would be easiest from the standpoint of security,” he told “Fox and Friends” Wednesday. “We are thinking about doing it from the White House because there’s no movement. It’s easy, and I think it’s a beautiful setting and we are thinking about that. It’s certainly one of the alternatives. It’s the easiest alternative.” The president later added that while some speeches will be virtual, others will be live at different locations in Washington, D.C. “I’m going to do mine on Thursday night and that will be live.”
But his suggestion has raised legal and ethical questions about hosting campaign activity on the federal government grounds.
The Hatch Act forbids the use of government buildings and employees for campaign activities, with few exceptions. While the president and vice president are exempt, any White House or government employee who helps facilitate campaign activity risks breaking federal law.
“Is that even legal?” GOP Senator John Thune said to reporters when asked about the president’s plans. “I assume that’s not something that you could do,” the Republican senator from South Dakota said, citing a potential “Hatch Act issue.” The senator added, “I think anything you do on federal property would seem to be to be problematic.”
While enforcement of the Hatch Act rests on the president, who has previously avoided taking any action to uphold the federal law, the Republican Party would be responsible for covering the cost of any political event.