US President Donald Trump said on Monday (08/17/2020) that he would accept the Republican nomination for a second term during a live speech from the White House next week, confirming plans that have received criticism from Democrats and even from some fellow Republicans.
Following Democrat Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of the November vote, Trump told the New York Post last week that he would “probably” accept the Republican nomination from the White House lawn, calling it “a place that makes me feel good”.
The speech will take place on Thursday next week, at the end of the Republican National Convention. But choosing the White House for a partisan act can lead to legal problems, experts have warned.
Democrats have accused Trump of politicizing the historic residence. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said Trump is once again going to “demote the White House” by using it for a political event.
He insists that he will not break the law
Trump insists his plans will not violate a 1939 Act, which prohibits government employees from using official resources to interfere with the outcome of an election, as it exempts the president. But even if Trump were exempt, activities related to the Republican convention in the White House could still put other administration officials at risk of breaking the law, legal experts say.
The decision comes after Trump was forced to move the speech site from the original convention headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida due to restrictions by local authorities due to the pandemic.
Since Florida later became one of the states with the highest spike in COVID-19 infections, Trump also had to suspend that act, planned in an outdoor stadium with a capacity for 15,000 people.
The president said last week that he was considering giving the speech in the small town of Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), where in 1863 the bloodiest battle of the Civil War took place and where the then president, Abraham Lincoln, gave one of his speeches. most memorable.
For his part, the virtual Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, will give his acceptance speech next Thursday virtually from Delaware, the state where he resides, after ruling out the pandemic, traveling to Milwaukee (Wisconsin), the original headquarters of the convention .