Trump Plans One Last White House Smash And Grab, For Old Times' Sake
With polls showing his presidency circling the drain, Donald Trump and his lickspittle minions are all outta fucks to give. Yesterday the president confirmed to the New York Post that he'll be giving his acceptance speech from the White House lawn.
"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 said, without specifying which part of the country he means.
"We'd do it possibly outside on one of the lawns, we have various lawns, so we could have it outside in terms of the China virus," he continued, oblivious that the "we" who have these "various lawns" is the American people, not him personally.
The Office of Special Counsel just released an opinion letter at the behest of the House Oversight Committee confirming that, while Trump and Pence are exempt, "most White House employees are subject to the Hatch Act's prohibition against engaging in political activity while on duty or in a federal room or building." Furthermore, "if White House employees who are supervisors were to task subordinate staff with work in support of the political event," by, say, telling them to set up chairs and a sound system, they might run afoul of the Act.
The OSC did suggest one avenue for fuckery, opining that the Act might not apply "if the employees take leave, and the event is held on the White House lawn or in the residence." So, White House employees might try to thread that needle by sticking to the magical free zone and declaring themselves on hiatus for the event. Or they might say FUCK IT and just go ahead and break the law on national television.
Yeah, it's probably that one. The Biden Justice Department will have their hands plenty full — what are the odds they'll get around to prosecuting Kellyanne Conway for her millionth Hatch Act violation, right?
Meanwhile, the rest of the convention will take place down the road at the Andrew W. Mellon auditorium. So they have a venue, they're just not using it for Trump's speech because they think the backdrop of the White House is worth the political fallout from shitting all over the requirements of both ethics and the Hatch Act.
Even without Trump there, though, Politico reports this party will be a rager, with luminaries such as Charlie Kirk expounding on the convention's theme of "honoring the great American story." Must see TV!
And while organizers told Politico there are no plans to pack the 700-person hall, it is conveniently located across the street from ...
Guess! Guess! Guess!
THE TRUMP HOTEL!
Yeah, don't faint. Donors in North Carolina are out $38 million after Trump blew up plans to hold the convention there because Gov. Roy Cooper wouldn't allow a packed hall of 15,000 MAGAts spewing germs directly into each other's blowholes. But Trump has figured out a way to cash in for himself by parking attendees at his own hotel.
But wait, there's more! Because, as the Daily Beast notes, the Trump family jacked the rates up to maximize the payload.
Listings for rooms at the Trump International Hotel in D.C., via Hotels.com, show rooms for one adult on the night of the address starting at $795 and running as high as $2,070.
That price tag represents a massive increase from the $495 starting rate currently offered for the dates one week following and one week prior. For three days before Trump's scheduled speech—which were originally scheduled to be the dates of the GOP convention in Charlotte, North Carolina—the hotel is charging $695 a night for its cheapest room. The hotel will begin charging $795 that Thursday, and continue through the weekend, before dropping back to $495 on Monday.
As for Mike Pence, Politico reports that he's not planning to speak at the Mellon Hall either. Mother's Best Boy is considering giving his speech from Baltimore's Fort McHenry National Monument. Why, yes, that would be yet another federal property where the Hatch Act applies. It's outdoors, though, so ... totally kosher!
But leave aside for a moment the violations of federal law and gross ethical impropriety of using federal resources to support a political campaign. Have these geniuses thought through the logistics of holding nationally televised campaign rallies outdoors in DC and Baltimore, cities where they're slightly less popular than genital warts? The protests will be epic, but more to the point, they'll be loud. Maybe not loud enough to be heard during the speeches, since the White House has busily erected a security perimeter about a mile around the property. But disruptive enough that they'll take up a good chunk of airtime during the president's attempted re-coronation.
Because the only thing that exceeds Trump's malevolence is his gross incompetence.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.