Politico

RNC chair says GOP to pay for convention, dodges Pompeo speech report


Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on Sunday said the GOP will pay for all Republican National Convention events, dodging a report that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will address the convention while on an official trip to the Middle East.

Pompeo is expected to address the Republican National Convention on Tuesday while on an official trip to the Middle East, according to The Associated Press. When pressed on whether taxpayers will be reimbursed for the trip, given the unusual circumstance of a diplomat supporting a presidential campaign, McDaniel said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the RNC and the Trump campaign will pay for their own events.

“I’m not confirming anything having to do with Secretary Pompeo’s trip,” McDaniel clarified. “I am just saying the programming, the staging, everything that we’re doing will be paid for by the Republican National Committee and the campaign.”

“Everything that we’ve put together has changed because of Covid,” McDaniel said. “The president rightly said we’re going to leave Jacksonville because we don’t want to have resources taken away from a city that’s dealing with a pandemic. And he brought it back to the White House, which is his residence.”

Democrats have questioned whether President Donald Trump is breaking the law with his plans to deliver his speech accepting the Republican nomination for president from the White House. They cited the Hatch Act, a law restricting federal employees from engaging in certain political activities, and also asked whether Trump might be breaking a separate law that forbids the coercion of federal employees to conduct political activity.

While Trump himself is exempt from the Hatch Act, other employees could be subject it. First lady Melania Trump is also expected to deliver her speech from the White House Rose Garden.

McDaniel confirmed that Trump will be in North Carolina on Monday for the start of the convention. “He hasn’t confirmed if he’s going to come by Charlotte yet, but we have the delegates here,” she said.

When asked what precautions the RNC is taking to protect the approximately 300 people who will be gathered in Charlotte for the convention from Covid-19, McDaniel took a jab at last week’s all-virtual Democratic National Convention.

“It’s really important to understand that the Democrats and Joe Biden just said we’re going to shut this country down again. And that is a really elite view of America right now,” she said.

The RNC tested attendees before they came to Charlotte, and they are testing people on-site, McDaniel said.

“We are doing the things that are allowing people to live their lives, have a convention and do it in a healthy and safe way,” she said.

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