Trump spoke to a crowd on the South Lawn as he accepted his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention, one of several purely political events done on government property lately.
Earlier this week, Trump turned a naturalization ceremony at the White House into a televised spectacle during the RNC. And on Thursday, for Trump’s speech, the White House was festooned with campaign signs and logos.
Former White House ethics chief Walter Shaub, who served for six months under Trump and six under President Barack Obama, said the South Lawn speech wasn’t just an ethical lapse but “the breach of a sacred trust.”
This abomination may be the most visible misuse of official position for private gain in America’s history. It is an abuse of the power entrusted to this man, the breach of a sacred trust. It is the civic equivalent of a mortal sin—maybe a religious one too. And it is a harbinger pic.twitter.com/UryxiQTyv0
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 28, 2020
The RNC was initially scheduled for Charlotte, North Carolina, but Trump was unhappy with the state’s limitations on gatherings intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Others joined Shaub to condemn the use of the White House for partisan political purposes:
This is a desecration of The People’s House.
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) August 28, 2020
This entire night of the #RNC2020 is illegal and a violation of the Hatch Act. The fact that no one will be arrested for this is indicative of how close we are to an autocratic dictatorship already
— Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) August 28, 2020
Answer: Almost the entire RNC convention was a Hatch Act violation.Did Trump Officials Commit Violations of the Hatch Act during the RNC? An Explainer. – The Dispatch https://t.co/9i0Avn8FSY
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) August 27, 2020
It was an honor to work as a staffer in the White House. Turning it into a backdrop for a vulgar display of allegiance to a party leader, a kind of dime store American Nuremberg, is sickening. https://t.co/yyhysaQYjk
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 27, 2020
— Jazmín Ortega (@Jazmin_Ortega) August 28, 2020
— Jennifer Horn (@NHJennifer) August 28, 2020
The Trump Crime Family has no shame. Our tax dollars pay for the White House. They've turned it into a propaganda prop.#RNC2020
— Andrea Chalupa (@AndreaChalupa) August 28, 2020
He might as well address the nation from a balcony in full military dress brandishing a long gun. We’re there. pic.twitter.com/cnBPJlLGOW
— Scott Linnen (@ScottLinnen) August 27, 2020
Trump’s use of the White House for Convention propaganda is disgusting.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 26, 2020
Fascism has indeed arrived draped in a flag. pic.twitter.com/B3cf65V7nz
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) August 28, 2020
The more norms we let him smash the more empowered trump is to continue criming. Using the White House for a campaign speech is not okay. pic.twitter.com/YfwHLvoebU
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) August 27, 2020
This looks like some movie where a frat guy is accidentally elected President and throws a kegger on the White House lawn. pic.twitter.com/1f5fdk0jBj
— Schooley (@Rschooley) August 28, 2020
I can't describe how sickened I am to see campaign billboards on the lawn of the White House.Absolutely sickening.
— Chris D. Jackson (@ChrisDJackson) August 27, 2020
And that’s disturbing — but also how is it legal to hold the RNC on the White House lawn?? Does he think the WH is just Trump Tower now?
— Kirsten Alana 😷 Travel Photographer (@KirstenAlana) August 28, 2020
Let's not forget that every second they are on this stage in front of Our House they are breaking the law in plain sight.
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) August 28, 2020 RELATED… President Trump Ends RNC 2020 With Divisive Rhetoric Emblematic Of His Tenure Read Donald Trump’s RNC 2020 Prepared Remarks The Extreme Emptiness Of Donald Trump's Promises On Crime testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today! No thanks. Important conversations are happening now. Add your voice! Join HuffPost Today! Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost