Donald Trump drew bipartisan criticism with his suggestion that the White House would make an excellent setting for his upcoming GOP nomination acceptance speech.
U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., was among those who expressed concern about the legality of such a move.
“I assume that’s not something that you could do,” he said. “I assume there’s some Hatch Act issues or something.”
Thune was referring to a law forbidding federal officials from taking part in strictly political affairs. While the president is exempted from the rules, some experts say White House staffers involved in planning the event could potentially be in violation.
“I don’t know the answer to that and I haven’t heard him say that but I think anything to do with federal property would seem to me to be problematic,” Thune continued.
Despite the obvious ethical and possible legal concerns, Trump doubled down on his earlier musings.
“It is legal,” he declared. “There is no Hatch Act because it doesn’t pertain to the president.”