The Republican National Committee wants to put on a fireworks display near the Washington Monument on the night of Aug. 27, after President Donald Trump concludes his speech accepting the GOP nomination from the South Lawn of the White House, The Hill reported Monday.
National Park Service chief of communications Mike Litterst said the approval for the fireworks display is still pending.
Trump’s decision to deliver his acceptance speech from the White House has already been criticized by ethics watchdogs and lawmakers in both parties who are concerned that he is politicizing federal property and blatantly using it for his own reelection effort.
Although the Hatch Act forbids executive branch officials from campaign activity in their official capacity, it does not apply to the president. However, White House staffers might find it difficult to plan and carry out the speech without violating the law.
The president had originally been planning to give his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was then moved to Jacksonville, Florida, due to the coronavirus crisis. When the pandemic spread as well in another surge to Florida, that location was also canceled.
Trump confirmed to the New York Post he was giving the address at the White House, explaining “it is a great place. It’s a place that makes me feel good, it makes the country feel good.”
He also said it would be the easiest location for law enforcement and the Secret Service to protect, since stringent security procedures are already in place there.
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