Pelosi: Trump Delivering RNC Acceptance Speech From White House ‘Very Wrong,’ Would ‘Completely Politicize It’

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UNITED STATES - JUNE 8: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other members of Congress gather at the Emancipation Hall, kneel as they take moment of silence to honor George Floyd, and victims of racial injustice on Monday, June 8, 2020. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed President Trump for floating the idea that he may accept the Republican nomination for president in a speech from the White House.

Pelosi appeared on MSNBC with host Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday to speak about updates on the evolving plans for the Democratic and Republican national conventions, according to Fox News. Earlier in the day, President Trump said that he may not travel to Jacksonville for the convention, and may accept the Republican nomination for president at the White House instead.

“It might be. It’s something we are thinking about,” Trump had said during a Wednesday morning interview with Fox News. “We’re picking a location fairly soon.”

Pelosi slammed the idea and accused the president of trying to “politicize” the White House.

“It’s very wrong. Again, when we’re in the Capitol of the United States under the dome, we have very limited opportunity to reference anything political, and for the President of the United States to degrade, once again, the White House as he has done over and over again by saying he is going to completely politicize it, is something that should be rejected right out of hand,” Pelosi said. “It’s, again, notion mongering, not serious thinking. And it won’t happen, let’s put it that way. Whether it’s legally wrong or ethically out of the question, it shouldn’t have even be something that was expressed.”

Mitchell pressed the speaker if she could stop the president from holding the speech if he set his mind on it. Pelosi evaded the question and asserted simply that “he can’t do that.”

“He can’t do that. You can’t do that. I mean, you would be very surprised, I think, at the fact that when you’re at the White House, you’re talking about policy and the rest, you’re not talking politics,” Pelosi said. “We never did, you would have a limited reference … to our civic life in terms of politics, but you don’t talk politics in the White House, and you don’t talk politics under the dome of the Capitol, except perhaps a reference to it, but not an event. You don’t have political events in the Capitol. You don’t have political events in the White House.”

Pelosi and numerous other congressional Democrats wore kente clothe scarves and knelt in the lobby of the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center in June in a staged event to show solidarity with protesters marching over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Critics called the event a “disingenuous” stunt and a “performance.”

Pelosi then said that Trump raising the issue of possibly delivering his convention speech from the White House is an attempt to deflect attention from the twin crises of a pandemic and economic tailspin.

“Once again, he is diverting attention from the fact that people are dying in our country, children are hungry, families are fearing eviction, workers are concerned about getting money into their pockets, the state and local governments are suffering from the virus and the rest, and we are talking about whether he can have a political event at the White House,” Pelosi said. “He can’t. But, again, it’s interesting, it’s curious, it’s a diversion, and he is a master of diversion, but what we all really need to be talking about is the fact that we passed our bill, the HEROES Act, nearly three months ago. In that time, over three million people have been added to the list of those infected, 70,000 people have died, and we’re talking about the president having political events at the White House. He can’t, so let’s talk about what we can do. Let’s see how we can work together to get that done.”

The Republican National Committee (RNC) and Trump have walked back plans to hold a full convention since a spat with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) prompted the RNC to move the bulk of the convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville. Last month, Trump scrapped plans for an in-person convention in Jacksonville, saying that “it’s not the right time” for such a gathering.

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