Aug 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wolf says he did not know naturalization ceremony would be shown at RNC

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf claimed on Sunday that he did not know that a prerecorded naturalization ceremony with President Trump would be aired during the Republican National Convention.

Why it matters: The ceremony has prompted House Democrats to demand an investigation into Wolf for potentially violating the Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity.

The big picture: The naturalization ceremony was one of a number of episodes during the RNC that sparked allegations of ethics violations and misuse of government property for political purposes, including President Trump's acceptance speech on the White House South Lawn.

What he's saying: "No," Wolf responded when asked by ABC's Jonathan Karl if he knew the footage would be played at the RNC. "What I knew is again, participating in a naturalization ceremony. We had a number of USCIS employees there as they do every naturalization ceremony making sure that ceremony goes off without a hitch."

  • "Naturalization ceremonies are what the department does. We do hundreds, if not thousands, of them every year. I participated in several of them not only with the president but with the vice president. So it's absolutely a legitimate role for the department to do."
  • "It was an official event at the White House. It was uploaded to a public YouTube channel. Any individual organization or political party can pull down that video and do with it as they wish."
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