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 John TrumpTrump-backed candidate wins NH GOP Senate primary to take on Shaheen Trump, supporters gather without masks in NC despite request from local GOP official Trump-backed candidate wins NH GOP primary to take on Pappas 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 BidenTrump, supporters gather without masks in NC despite request from local GOP official Democrats fear 2016 repeat despite Biden’s lead in polls Trump: Harris would be an ‘insult’ as first female president 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 SisolakMore than 500 visitors to Nevada have tested positive for COVID-19 since June: officials Trump campaign sues three Iowa counties over absentee mailings Trump campaign sues New Jersey over mail-in voting 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 fear 2016 repeat despite Biden’s lead in polls Analysis: 2018 ‘blue wave’ due in part to boost in voters who didn’t cast ballots in 2016 Hillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | ‘Markeyverse’ of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections 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.