GOP senator on Trump accepting nomination at White House: 'Is that even legal?'

Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSupreme Court fight pushes Senate toward brink House to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error MORE (S.D.) on Wednesday raised possible legal concerns when asked about President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE potentially accepting the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House.

“Is that even legal?” Thune asked when reporters queried him about Republican National Convention planners thinking about having Trump accept his party’s nomination for a second term on White House grounds.

“I assume that’s not something that you could do. I assume there’s some Hatch Act issues or something,” he said. “I don’t know the answer to that and I haven’t heard him say that, but I think anything to do with federal property would seem to me to be problematic.”


The Hatch Act prohibits partisan political activity by a federal employee in a government room or building or any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties, according to a memo posted by the Department of the Interior’s ethics office.

Trump said Wednesday that accepting the nomination at the White House would “be the easiest from the standpoint of security.”

“We’re thinking about it. It would be the easiest from the standpoint of security,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends” when asked about a report in The Washington Post. “We’re thinking about doing it from the White House because there’s no movement and it’s easy.”

Trump said he would “probably” deliver the speech live from the White House but said the choice was not final and that he could change the plan if problems were raised.

Asked if he would urge Trump not to use the White House to accept the nomination, Thune said: “Like I said, I don’t know what the law allows for.”

He added that he didn’t know “if that’s ever been done before, like in the 1800s.”

Morgan Chalfant contributed.