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Trump says he may accept the nomination from the White House; RNC will be open to press

Jim Morrill, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in News & Features

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he's considering accepting the GOP nomination at the White House because it would be the "easiest ... and by far the least expensive."

Trump also said the media would be allowed to witness his nomination in Charlotte. GOP officials said Sunday that no "final decision" had been made on whether to ban reporters from the convention.

The convention starts Aug. 24 in Charlotte. It's scheduled to run through Aug. 27 when Trump would accept the nomination. It was unclear where he would do that but he told Fox & Friends that the White House was a likely location.

"It would be the easiest from the standpoint of security," he told Fox News. "We're thinking about doing it from the White House. ... It's the easiest alternative. I think it's a beautiful alternative. I love the building. ... Spend a lot of time here. A lot of people didn't spend as much time. I like it. ... It would be by far the least expensive from the country's standpoint."

Trump said the first night of the convention would be in Charlotte and feature the nominations of him and Vice President Mike Pence. Convention officials had said it would take place the morning of Aug. 24.

"(W)e were really wanting to go to North Carolina, and so what we are doing is we are doing one night there," he said. "And it'll be a nomination night and it'll go very well. We're going to let the press go in and watch it, but socially distanced and lots of things are happening."

GOP officials sought to explain the potential media exclusion by blaming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

"We want the press there but this isn't an RNC decision, this is a Gov. Cooper of North Carolina decision," party chair Ronna McDaniel told CNN Tuesday. She alluded to Cooper's order prohibiting crowds of more than 10 from gathering indoors in this phase of pandemic response. (Cooper may extend or revise the order Wednesday afternoon.)

 

Also speaking on CNN, Cooper denied the charge.

"The RNC has changed their mind so much on this (convention)," he said. "One thing that hasn't changed is North Carolina's commitment to public health and safety. We're willing to work with them on a safe convention and look forward to doing that.

"But in North Carolina we've been able to keep our (COVID-19) numbers down ... because we've taken pro-active action."

(Francesca Chambers and Brian Murphy of McClatchy's Washington Bureau contributed to this report.)

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