Outspokenly liberal actor Rob Reiner took President Donald Trump to task Monday for offering Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as a potential location for his speech accepting the 2020 Republican nomination and accused him of having sinister motives for choosing such a place.
“Trump brilliantly narrows down the location of his acceptance speech. Either break yet another law and do it at the WH, or do it at Gettysburg and celebrate your devotion to White Supremacy,” Reiner tweeted.
Trump brilliantly narrows down the location of his acceptance speech. Either break yet another law and do it at the WH, or do it at Gettysburg and celebrate your devotion to White Supremacy.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 10, 2020
In response, NRSC senior adviser Matt Whitlock asked Reiner what he thought happened at Gettysburg, to which he responded, “I know exactly what happened at Gettysburg. CSA got its ass kicked. Perfect setting for the dog whistle.”
I know exactly what happened at Gettysburg. CSA got its ass kicked. Perfect setting for the dog whistle.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 11, 2020
Trump recently floated both the historic Civil War battlefield and the White House as potential locations for his acceptance speech after COVID-19 upended planned speeches in both Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida. He tweeted Monday, “We have narrowed the Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, to be delivered on the final night of the Convention (Thursday), to two locations – The Great Battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the White House, Washington, D.C. We will announce the decision soon!”
We have narrowed the Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, to be delivered on the final night of the Convention (Thursday), to two locations – The Great Battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the White House, Washington, D.C. We will announce the decision soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
Both locations have raised ethics concerns from those who claim Trump is using federal property for partisan purposes. According to The New York Times, Norman L. Eisen, who served as the chief ethics czar in the Obama White House, said, “Applicable law does provide a variety of technical exemptions, which a clever lawyer might stitch together to claim that this is permissible. But those loopholes do not contemplate an event of this highly partisan nature of this scope and scale, and the forced political labor of the hundreds, if not thousands, of federal personnel.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed an acceptance speech on the South Lawn of the White House would sully the Executive Mansion. “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’s going to completely politicize it, is something that should be rejected right out of hand,” she told MSNBC.
“It’s not serious thinking,” Pelosi added. “It won’t happen, whether it’s legally wrong or ethically out of the question, it shouldn’t have been something that was expressed.”
While acknowledging that the Gettysburg battlefield is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf reminded Trump that any outdoor gathering in the state exceeding 250 people would violate the state’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions. According to Penn Live, Wolf’s office said, “We hope and expect that the President will abide by these commonsense restrictions that will protect the health and safety of the community around Gettysburg and throughout Pennsylvania.”
Wolf was criticized for violating his own state’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions on June 3 when he marched in solidarity with hundreds of protesters in Harrisburg following the death of George Floyd. In Harrisburg’s Dauphin County, gatherings were restricted to 25 people or less at the time, according to Pennsylvania’s color-coded reopening plan.
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