Trump says he will accept GOP nomination in North Carolina

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE plans to attend the Republican convention business in North Carolina next month after all, he told a local news outlet on Monday.

“I’ll be in North Carolina and that’s a very big deal because we have a lot of the delegates there and that will be a nomination process, and that’s essentially where the nomination, where it’s formalized,” Trump told Raleigh-based WRAL News in an interview after being asked where he planned to deliver his acceptance speech.

“I’m really honored to do it in North Carolina. We won the state,” the president continued, referring to his 2016 victory. “We’ve had really great relationships with the state and so I’m very happy to be back.”

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Trump said further details on his acceptance speech would be released later in the week.

Trump subsequently told reporters at the White House Tuesday that the GOP presidential nominating process would take place on Monday and that he would deliver his speech formally accepting the nomination on Thursday of the same week.  

He wouldn’t disclose the location of the speech, but signaled details would be released in the coming days. The convention business is scheduled to take place in Charlotte, N.C., the week of Aug. 24.

The announcement is a change of course for the president, who had moved his acceptance speech and other convention events from North Carolina to Florida after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) insisted on the GOP holding a scaled-down convention because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Trump was slated to deliver his acceptance speech in Jacksonville, Fla., but the president abruptly announced at a White House briefing last week he was canceling the events there due to a surge of coronavirus cases in Florida.

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“I told my team it's time to cancel the Jacksonville component of the GOP convention,” Trump told reporters. “I’ll still do a convention speech in a different form, but we won’t do a big crowded convention."

The regular convention business was still expected to take place in Charlotte, N.C., even after the Republican National Committee moved the larger events to Jacksonville. Trump said last week that the nominating business would move forward in Charlotte as planned.

Before the president’s announcement last week, the events in Jacksonville had been shrouded in uncertainty due to the rising coronavirus infections in the Sunshine State. The state has recorded more than 432,000 coronavirus cases in total and has seen substantial rises in cases day after day in recent weeks. 

Trump participated in the WRAL News interview while on a trip to Morrisville, N.C., on Monday to highlight his administration’s progress in securing a vaccine for the coronavirus. 

Trump is trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Trump executive order is 'a reckless war on Social Security' Trump got into testy exchange with top GOP donor Adelson: report Blumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections MORE in North Carolina, according to recent polling. A NBC News-Marist poll released Monday found Biden leading Trump by 7 points in the battleground state.