WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Trump is now planning to accept the Republican nomination on the White House lawn.
The decision came after the U.S. Office of Special Counsel issued an opinion Wednesday saying that federal law would not prohibit Trump from making the speech at the White House.
“I’ll probably be giving my speech at the White House because it is a great place. It’s a place that makes me feel good, it makes the country feel good,” Trump told the Post in an exclusive Oval Office interview Thursday.
Trump also told the Post that holding the event at the White House would be easier in terms of security purposes for law enforcement and the Secret Service, as well as to maintain proper social distancing guidelines put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“We could have quite a group of people. It’s very big, a very big lawn. We could have a big group of people,” Trump added, when asked if he would accept the speech in front of a crowd of supporters.
Having the acceptance speech take place at the White House would mark an unprecedented use of public property for partisan political purposes. As recently as last week, Trump was considering multiple locations, including the Great Battlefield of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
The speech and the rest of the convention were going to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, until Trump feuded with the state's Democratic governor over coronavirus health restrictions. Trump then moved the speech and other elements of the convention to Jacksonville, Florida, a move welcomed by the state's Republican governor, but he later canceled those plans because of a resurgence of the coronavirus there.
The Florida cancellation effectively limited his options with the clock ticking.
Last month, Vice President Mike Pence came to North Carolina and told Spectrum News 1 that the president had plans to then accept the nomination in the Tar Heel State.
Presidents typically seek to hold their nominating conventions in a state seen as crucial to their chances of winning the election, but this year's coronavirus outbreak has forced candidates to drastically change the way they campaign. Democrats are holding their convention in Wisconsin, though the event will be almost entirely virtual.
Biden and Harris will deliver their DNC convention speeches at Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Presidents historically have treated the White House as a politics-free zone, though Trump has shown disregard for many norms and customs of the presidency.
The Republican National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 24-27, with Trump’s acceptance speech capping the final night. There will be around 400 people in the Queen City for the convention.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.