Trump floats moving his election night party to the White House

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President Donald Trump said Friday that he would likely relocate his campaign’s election night party to the White House or another venue if coronavirus restrictions in Washington, D.C., prevent him from holding the event at his Pennsylvania Avenue hotel.

“We haven’t made a determination. We have certain rules and regulations. You know, Washington, D.C., is shut down. The mayor shut it down,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.

“So we have a hotel. I don’t know if it’s shut down, if you’re allowed to use it or not,” he continued. “But I know the mayor has shut down Washington, D.C. And if that’s the case, we’ll probably stay here or pick another location. I think it’s crazy. Washington, D.C., is shut down. Can you imagine?”

The remarks from the president came after The New York Times reported Friday that he had reneged on plans to visit the Trump International Hotel Washington on election night and would likely spend the evening at the White House.

Gatherings of more than 50 people in Washington are prohibited by the city’s coronavirus directives. Throughout this year, Trump has routinely feuded with Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, on issues related to the pandemic and nationwide anti-racism protests.

Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, also confirmed Friday that the campaign was considering moving the election night party from the luxury Washington hotel, which occupies the 120-year-old Romanesque structure formerly known as the Old Post Office Building.

“No, we’re thinking about moving it, actually, over to the White House for — we’re looking at that right now, and it’s going to be a great night. It’s going to be a really, really beautiful night,” he said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”

The potential change of venue by the president could provoke criticism of his continued use of the executive mansion for political purposes. Trump delivered his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in August from the White House lawn, a move for which he was widely criticized.

In recent months, as the coronavirus has spread across the country, Trump has also conducted campaign-style events on the White House premises, launching attacks against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden from the seat of power of the federal government’s executive branch.

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