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Both Democrats and Republicans have criticised President Donald Trump for suggesting he would make his convention acceptance speech from the White House.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Mr Trump would "degrade the White House", while Republican Senator John Cornyn called the plan "problematic".

Critics accuse Mr Trump of politicising the seat of presidential power, saying such a move could even be illegal.

The Republican president denied all the accusations.

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"Well, it is legal," Mr Trump said at a news briefing on Wednesday, adding that the 1939 Hatch Act banning government employees from using official authority to interfere with the outcome of an election did not apply to him.

Earlier that day, the president told Fox News: "I will probably do mine [acceptance speech] live from the White House. If for some reason somebody had difficulty with it, I could go with someplace else.

"If I use the White House, we save tremendous amounts of money for the government in terms of security, travelling."

The president is expected to make the speech at the end of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 24-27 August. This will be a scaled down event because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Trump is the party's sole remaining nominee, and his re-nomination will officially launch his re-election bid.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Nancy Pelosi predicted that a convention gathering at the White House "won't happen"

Critics say if Mr Trump goes ahead with his speech plan, it will be just his latest break with presidential custom, which draws clear lines between official business of the head of state and campaign events.

Mr Trump has previously been accused of flying on Air Force One to campaign rallies and turning his White House coronavirus briefings into campaign speeches.

What do the critics say?

Ms Pelosi told MSNBC that President Trump would once again "degrade the White House" by using it for a political event.

She predicted that a convention gathering at the White House "won't happen" for legal and ethical reasons.

Ron Johnson, a Republican senator representing Wisconsin, said this was "probably not allowed", adding that Mr Trump "probably shouldn't do it".

Meanwhile, Mary Cheh, a Democratic member of the Council of the District of Columbia, warned that this could trigger protests against Mr Trump in the capital.

"It could be a lightning rod for confrontation," she said.

Related Topics
  • US election 2020
  • Nancy Pelosi
  • Republican Party
  • Coronavirus pandemic
  • Donald Trump
  • United States

News Source: BBC

Tags: us election 2020 us election 2020 nancy pelosi republican party coronavirus pandemic donald trump united states the white house

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Ex-Montana GOP governor says Trump dangerous to republic

Former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot (R) delivered a biting assessment of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE’s tenure in the White House, saying his continued leadership is “dangerous to the existence of the republic.”

“I’ve concluded that he’s dangerous to the existence of the republic as we know it,” Racicot told The New York Times.

Racicot, who served as chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) under former President George W. Bush, threw his support behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this week. 

In an interview with Yellowstone Public Radio this week, Racicot acknowledged that his refusal to vote for Trump “will cause consternation perhaps in some corners” of the Republican Party. 

But in his comments to the Times, Racicot said that Trump’s performance in the first presidential debate this week “embarrassed” him. He also said that the president had offered reassurances to racists, making reference to Trump’s refusal at the debate to condemn the Proud Boys, a far-right group linked to white supremacy. 

Trump has sought to stem the fallout from his remarks at the debate, telling reporters on Wednesday that he doesn’t “know who the Proud Boys are.”

“I mean, you’ll have to give me a definition because I really don’t know who they are,” he said. “I can only say they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work.”

Racicot is not the only former Republican governor to back Biden. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) endorsed Biden in August and spoke in support of him at the Democratic National Convention. 

Another former GOP chair, Michael Steele, has also said he will vote for Biden in the November election. 

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden 2020 election Endorsement Republican National Committee Debate

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