President Donald Trump held a series of events in violation of Nevada rules on large gatherings despite objections from Gov. Steve Sisolak.
President Donald Trump has boasted that Nevada’s governor “failed” to stop him from holding multiple indoor events, including a large rally, that breached the state’s COVID-19 rules.
Trump tweeted on Monday night: “We had great rallies this past weekend, after the Governor of Nevada worked very hard to cancel all of our venues. Despite the fact that he controls the state, he failed, but would have rather done rally outside.”
Trump held his large Sunday rally inside, in defiance of the state’s rules meant to stop the coronavirus’ spread.
Other events had to be reorganized after the original venues pulled out because of coronavirus restrictions. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited in the state.
Trump blamed Nevada’s Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak, on Saturday, saying: “He tried to stop us. He couldn’t.”
Footage from the Sunday event showed that people at the rally were largely not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. The Associated Press reported that masks were encouraged but only supporters who were standing directly behind Trump — and were therefore likely to appear on TV — were required to wear them.
Sisolak issued a statement Sunday night accusing Trump of “reckless and selfish actions” that endangered lives.
“Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada,” he tweeted.
—Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
“Despite reports from his own White House, despite local officials in Southern & Northern Nevada reiterating to the venues the existing restrictions in State emergency directives, tonight, the President is knowingly packing thousands into an indoor venue to hold a political rally,” he said.
“The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.”
He added: “To put it bluntly: he didn’t have the guts to make tough choices — he left that to governors and the states. Now he’s decided he doesn’t have to respect our State’s laws. As usual, he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.
“Instead, he came into our State and blatantly disregarded the emergency directives and tough choices made to fight this pandemic and begin reopening our economy by hosting an indoor gathering that’s categorized as ‘high risk’ according to his own CDC.”
Sisolak signed the order banning groups of more than 50 people in May. His office denied to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had anything to do with venues canceling on the campaign.
Daren Griffin, the president and CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, said after two airports canceled previously scheduled Trump events: “This has nothing to do with politics. The letter we sent is about directives and safety and not political campaigns.”
Sunday’s event was Trump’s first indoor rally since he held one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June.
In his tweets about Sisolak on Monday, Trump also continued his unsubstantiated claims that Democrats were trying to rig the election.
He tweeted: “Can you imagine this man is in charge of the Ballots in Nevada!? Not fair, Rigged Election! @GovSisolak, will use every trick in the book to cheat with Ballots.”
His tweet, which mirrors similar comments that he made during his rally speech, continued his unproven narrative that mail-in ballots are not secure and that a Democratic victory resulting from them would mean the election is rigged.
NBC News also noted that, in Nevada, the state’s governor does not oversee elections or their results.