Aug 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July.
President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Context: The coronavirus pandemic forced the RNC to pick a new venue for the president to deliver his speech after convention events in Jacksonville, Florida, were canceled.

What he's saying: “I’ll probably be giving my speech at the White House because it is a great place. It’s a place that makes me feel good, it makes the country feel good,” Trump told the Post, adding it would also be easiest for law enforcement and the Secret Service.

  • “We’d do it possibly outside on one of the lawns, we have various lawns, so we could have it outside in terms of the China virus."

Of note: “We could have quite a group of people. It’s very big, a very big lawn. We could have a big group of people," Trump responded when asked if he’d formally accept the Republican nomination for president with a crowd present.

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