Trump narrows nomination speech sites to Gettysburg and White House

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U.S. President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House after arriving on Marine One in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. A day after Trump took executive action to offer $400 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits, including 25% he said should be kicked in from state coffers, governors are pushing back. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(CBS) — President Trump said Monday he plans to deliver his speech accepting the Republican nomination for president at either the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania or the White House.

“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!” Mr. Trump tweeted early Monday afternoon.

Mr. Trump had already floated the White House as a possibility for the speech, but Gettysburg is a new, and unusual, possibility. Gettysburg is the site of the bloodiest battle in the Civil War, a war which divided Americans and families. The battle, which spanned three days in July 1863, resulted in 51,000 casualties and the defeat of the invading Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee. 

Asked why the president might choose that site to accept the GOP nomination, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president “has done a lot to bring this country together.” 

“I won’t get ahead of the president as to what his convention speech will look look like but the president has done a lot to bring this country together,” she said during a press briefing at the White House. 

The battlefield at Gettysburg is now a national military park administered by the National Park Service. The president has come under fire from Democrats for potentially delivering such a high-profile political speech on federal property.

Mr. Trump spent part of the summer tweeting messages that members of his own party described as unhelpful in the wake of the protests about racial inequality and police brutality.  

The GOP convention was originally supposed to take place in North Carolina but was moved to Jacksonville, Florida, before being all but canceled due to the raging coronavirus. 

First published on August 10, 2020 / 2:22 PM

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