The Trump campaign on Wednesday vowed to press on with planned events this weekend in Nevada after the originally scheduled venues pulled out, citing restrictions on gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The president is slated to stop in Reno and Las Vegas on Saturday and Sunday for two rallies and a fundraiser. The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported that the events, scheduled to take place at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and McCarran International Airport, respectively, had been canceled.
The campaign signaled that the events would still take place, but offered few details on the timing or location.
"President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE will be traveling to Nevada on the dates planned. Additional details will be announced soon," Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign, said in a statement.
Murtaugh accused Democrats of "trying to keep President Trump from speaking to voters because they know the enthusiasm behind his re-election campaign cannot be matched by Joe BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE."
Adam Laxalt, a Nevada co-chair of Trump's campaign, had tweeted earlier Wednesday to decry the president's "rally venues" in Nevada being "canceled."
Nevada Gov. Steve SisolakSteve SisolakHeller won't say if Biden won election Ex-Sen. Dean Heller announces run for Nevada governor Former Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor MORE (D) issued a directive in May limiting gatherings to 50 people or fewer in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But the governor's office denied that he had any role in the airports canceling the Trump campaign events, according to the Review-Journal.
“This has nothing to do with politics. The letter we sent is about directives and safety and not political campaigns,” Daren Griffin, president and CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, said in a statement. “We would hold our tenants to the same standard whether it was a Democratic or Republican rally or any other type of gathering. We are complying with the Governor’s directive and Washoe County’s recommendation during a pandemic.”
The weekend rallies would mark Trump's first trip to Nevada since February. The Trump campaign has eyed Nevada as a potential flip opportunity after the president lost the state to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE by roughly 27,000 votes in 2016.
The president has in recent weeks resumed holding his usual large campaign rallies, even as state officials impose restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Trump has rallied supporters in outdoor venues and in airplane hangars in Arizona, New Hampshire, Minnesota and North Carolina. Hundreds of attendees have gathered at each event, with many going without face coverings despite local and federal guidance.
Trump and his allies have responded to criticism of the large gatherings in the middle of the pandemic by describing them as "peaceful protests," a swipe at what they argue is a double standard in coverage of the large demonstrations against racial injustice that have taken place across the country.