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President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their families on the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee is scrambling for a new convention host city after President Trump said Tuesday that North Carolina’s coronavirus restrictions will make Charlotte unworkable for the crowds he's counting on.

Driving the news: The organization still hopes to conduct the convention's "official business" in Charlotte, an RNC spokesperson said. But the part that most Americans think about the convention — the spectacle of the speakers and the president accepting the Republican nomination itself — will be held in a different state with more relaxed COVID-19 laws.

Behind the scenes: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, told the RNC it wouldn't be able to hold a full-scale convention, for which it had contracted.

  • So that gave the RNC the ability to potentially change the rules to have a smaller presence in Charlotte while still fulfilling its contractual obligations to host the convention, per a source familiar with discussions.
  • Jacksonville is one of four leading contenders, per a source familiar with the matter. The others are Nashville, Orlando or somewhere in Georgia. This list could still change and evolve.
  • Politico's Alex Isenstadt was the first to report on these locations.

What they're saying: "Due to the directive from the governor that our convention cannot go on as planned and as required by our rules, the celebration of the president’s acceptance of the Republican nomination will be held in another city," an RNC spokesperson said in a statement.

  • "Should the governor allow more than 10 people in a room, we still hope to conduct the official business of the convention in Charlotte.”

The backdrop: Trump previously threatened to move the August convention from Charlotte if Cooper refused to allow the convention operate at full capacity.

  • But on Tuesday, Cooper told convention organizers that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.

Go deeper: Trump says RNC is looking outside of North Carolina for convention site

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump suggests people in N.C. vote twice to test mail-in system

President Trump makes a speech at the U.S.S. Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, N.C. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Trump suggested during a visit to North Carolina that people should vote once by mail and again in person during the election.

What he's saying: "Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system's as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote," he said. "If it isn't tabulated, they'll be able to vote. And that’s what they should do."

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.