President Trump wants to hold an election night party at his Washington hotel, but strict COVID-19 regulations could see the event switched to Virginia or Florida at the last moment, according to multiple sources familiar with the planning.
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It could mean other GOP events are likely to be held elsewhere in the city to thin numbers across multiple venues.
So while the Trump campaign is planning to use the Trump International Hotel, close to the White House, the Republican National Committee will hold a party at the Four Seasons in Georgetown.
But all that could change.
One high-profile supporter said he was ready to come to Washington, D.C., but was also prepared for an eleventh-hour switch.
Doug Deason, a Dallas-based donor, said: “We have booked our room, that’s the plan, and we are kind of waiting to see what happens.
“I was at the party four years ago, and I’m not planning to miss it this time.”
The Trump campaign was headquartered in Manhattan’s Trump Tower in 2016. Although Trump owns multiple hotels in the city, he plumped for the New York Hilton for his election night party.
This time around, he wanted to hold it on his own property. But like the rest of the country, which has been forced to forgo birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and even wakes, the president is finding that the pandemic is getting in the way of organizing mass gatherings.
In Washington, that means numbers are limited to 50, disappointing supporters.
“Plenty of donors can’t get in,” said a member of the Trump inner circle, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss planning. “People have been calling me for help to get into the hotel, but I don’t think I’ll get a ticket either.”
While the district remains in phase two of the administration’s coronavirus guidelines, Virginia and Florida have both moved into the more permissive phase three.
Gatherings of up to 250 people are allowed in Virginia, while Florida places a limit of 250 merely as a recommendation.
Trump owns a winery and a golf club in Virginia. He also owns properties in Florida, including the Trump National Doral, where he wanted to hold this year’s G-7 summit before backing down amid public opposition, and Mar-a-Lago, which he likes to call his winter White House.
Another donor said: “We are just trying to play it by ear to see what’s planned, what the president wants to do: Does he want to be in Florida, does he want to be in Virginia? We are leaving it flexible.”
Zach Everson, who runs the 1100 Pennsylvania newsletter detailing comings and goings at the hotel, said: “It would have been surprising if he didn’t go to a Trump property. The campaign and RNC have been the biggest spenders during COVID-19 with so many other events canceled.”
The RNC and the Trump campaign declined to comment.
Tags: News, Donald Trump, 2020 Elections, Campaign 2020, Mar-a-Lago, Virginia, Florida, Washington D.C., Coronavirus, Coronavirus