A day after thousands of people gathered at an airport in North Carolina for a campaign stop by President Donald Trump, officials in Nevada grounded the President’s efforts to get around Coronavirus restrictions, refusing to allow the Trump Campaign to use an airport hangar for a scheduled weekend rally.
“This has nothing to do with politics,” said Daren Griffin, President/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, which barred a hangar operated at the Reno Airport from hosting a Trump campaign stop.
“We are complying with the Governor’s directive and Washoe County’s recommendation during a pandemic,” Griffin said in a statement, as the local county is not allowing any public gatherings of more than 25 people because of the Coronavirus.
The President had been scheduled to make a campaign speech on Saturday night at the Reno Airport, and Sunday night in Las Vegas - but those events were in doubt because of the virus restrictions.
At the White House, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the President should be allowed to hold those type of campaign events - no matter what public health guidance is being issued on the Coronavirus.
“People have a First Amendment right, if they so choose, to show up and express their political opinion in the form of a peaceful protest,” McEnany told reporters. “And there is a real double standard here.”
Since the President’s bumpy attempt to hold an indoor campaign rally in June in Tulsa, Oklahoma went awry, Mr. Trump has been searching for ways to continue holding events - and the outdoor tarmac rally has become an obvious favorite.
In Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Tuesday, thousands of people - many not wearing masks - jammed into stands and an outdoor standing area to hear from President Trump.
“I don’t know how many people are here, but it’s a lot,” the President said to cheers as he opened his speech.
“I’m thrilled to be in Winston-Salem with thousands of loyal, hard-working American patriots,” the President added, as he voiced his complaint about restrictions on his campaign audiences.
“If you’re willing to riot and stand on top of each other’s face and do whatever the hell you want to do, you’re allowed to do that because you’re considered a peaceful protestor,” the President said Tuesday, “so we decided to call all our rallies peaceful protests.”
The President has another airport rally scheduled on Thursday night in Saginaw, Michigan.