North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018. Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions in North Carolina, the Republican Party will be "forced to seek another state" to host its convention in August.

The big picture: The late-night tweet came after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) told convention organizers earlier Tuesday that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.

  • Trump had previously threatened to move the August convention from Charlotte if Cooper, a Democrat, does not allow the event to be held at full capacity.
  • "Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State," Trump tweeted Tuesday.
  • "Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention."

Background: North Carolina's health and human services secretary asked the RNC in late May for clarification about how it plans to hold the convention and whether it would honor Trump's wish to host the event without requiring social distancing or face masks.

  • The RNC outlined proposed safety protocols, including requiring all attendees to have thermal scans before taking sanitized, pre-arranged transportation to the venue. Organizers said it would also require attendees to pass a health check before entering the convention arena.
  • The RNC stated in a letter that it does not have "solid guidelines from the State and cannot in good faith, ask thousands of visitors to begin paying deposits and making travel plans without knowing the full commitment of the Governor, elected officials and other stakeholders in supporting the Convention."

What they're saying: "We still want a safe RNC convention in Charlotte that follows the health guidelines set forth in the interim guidance regarding mass gatherings," Cooper wrote in Tuesday's letter. "In my conversation with the President, I commended him for not holding crowded political rallies since March because of the serious health risk that they would cause."

  • "The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August," Cooper noted.
  • "We are happy to continue talking with you about what a scaled-down convention
    would look like and we still await your proposed plan for that."

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote later on Tuesday that Cooper is "dragging his feet," adding, "We have an obligation to our delegates and nominee to begin visiting the multiple cities and states who have reached out in recent days about hosting an historic event..."

  • The New York Times reports the RNC is actively looking at other sites, including a planned visit to Nashville this week.

Go deeper

Updated Jul 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

At least 5 Republican senators say they will not attend GOP convention

Sen. Lisa Murkowski in June. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

At least five GOP senators have said they will not attend next month's Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida and more are rethinking their visits.

Why it matters: For some, like 86-year-old Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and 80-year-old Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the decision not to attend underscores broader concerns about holding mass gatherings in the coronavirus era. For others, like Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the nominating convention for President Trump is politically unsavory.

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 12,739,269 — Total deaths: 565,704 — Total recoveries — 7,021,460Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 3,247,782 — Total deaths: 134,815 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. Public health: Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  5. States: Louisiana governor issues face mask mandate.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.

Biden's doctrine: Erase Trump, re-embrace the world

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto, and Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November, advisers tell Axios — starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response.

The big picture: If Trump's presidency started the "America First" era of withdrawal from global alliances, Biden's team says his presidency would be the opposite: a re-engagement with the world and an effort to rebuild those alliances — fast.