Speed Reads

RNC 2020

Critics slam Trump for transforming the White House grounds into a campaign rally

Photos of the South Lawn of the White House covered in flags and enormous "Trump/Pence" campaign signs ahead of the Republican National Convention's final night drew outrage and horror from critics, who see the president's decision to hold a convention speech on the grounds as an appalling ethical violation.

"Trump giving his convention speech on the South Lawn is the clearest conceivable violation of the Hatch Act," tweeted Richard Stengel, a former Obama administration official, citing the law that prohibits federal employees from engaging in certain political activities while on duty. Though President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence aren't subject to the law's civil provisions, White House staffers at the event are; there's a reason why "no modern president has accepted his party's nomination for re-election from the White House," The New York Times reports.

"My blood is boiling over political banners at the White House," tweeted former Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. "Awful. Just awful. It actually breaks my heart."

"What a disgusting desecration of the people's house," tweeted former Republican congressman Joe Walsh. Added Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), "The White House is not the property of Donald Trump or the Republican Party, it belongs to the American people. These actions cheapen the office and degrade the nation."