The Republican National Committee, because of contractual agreements, will still be required to hold some formal portion of the convention in Charlotte. But the performative aspects of the convention, including the President’s speech, will happen in another city.
“The night the President accepts the nomination will not happen in Charlotte,” an RNC official tells CNN.
Two sources with knowledge told CNN that, despite the President’s tweet, it appears the decision isn’t final. But the sources say there have been tense conversations in the last 48 hours between the RNC and the governor’s office ahead of Trump’s self-imposed deadline, which is Wednesday.
The decision comes after tense negotiations between Republican officials and officials from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s office. Trump, over the last two weeks, started to target Cooper over the convention drama, a strategy that Republicans have said looks to turn the Democratic governor into a scapegoat should the convention not be able to go off as planned due to coronavirus.
Cooper, the President tweeted, “is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State.”
“Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention,” he said.
The plan now is to have Trump’s speech and some other events in another city.
“Due to the directive from the governor that our convention cannot go on as planned as required by our rules, the celebration of the President’s acceptance of the Republican nomination will be held in another city,” another Republican official said. “Should the governor allow more than 10 people in a room, we still hope to conduct the official business of the convention in Charlotte.”
“We’re contractually obligated to go to Charlotte,” one official explained, noting that the “business of the convention” must happen in that city. But since that is not formally defined, RNC officials are working to determine what portion of the convention must still occur in Charlotte.
This official notes that this is happening as a direct result of Cooper’s latest letter, in which he says the RNC should plan for “a scaled-down convention with fewer people.”
“We are scaling down because he is telling us to,” the official said.
Cooper wrote in a letter to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly that he would like to continue the conversation with organizers, but unless they offer up a much different plan, the chances of Charlotte being able to…