Trump boasts that Nevada's governor 'failed' to stop him breaking COVID-19 rules to hold a rally indoors

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© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst President Donald Trump rallies with supporters at a campaign event in Henderson, Nevada, on September 13, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump boasted that Nevada’s governor “failed” to stop him from holding a host of indoor events that breached the state’s COVID-19 rules, including a large rally.

Trump tweeted on Monday night: “We had great rallies this past weekend, after the Governor of Nevada worked very hard to cancel all of our venues. Despite the fact that he controls the state, he failed, but would have rather done rally outside.”

 

Trump held his large Sunday rally inside, in defiance of the state’s rules to try and stop the coronavirus.

Other events had to be reorganized after the original venues pulled out due to coronavirus restrictions. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited in the state.

Trump blamed Nevada’s Gov. Steve Sisolak on Saturday, saying: “He tried to stop us. He couldn’t, and now he’s in charge of the election,” he said.

Footage from the Sunday event shows that people at the rally were not wearing masks or social distancing. The Associated Press reported that only supporters who were standing directly behind Trump who would appear on TV were required to wear masks.

Sisolak, a Democrat, accused Trump of “reckless and selfish actions” that endangered lives in a statement on Sunday night.

“Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada,” he tweeted.

 

“Despite reports from his own White House, despite local officials in Southern & Northern Nevada reiterating to the venues the existing restrictions in State emergency directives, tonight, the President is knowingly packing thousands into an indoor venue to hold a political rally,” he said.

“The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.”

He said of Trump: “To put it bluntly: he didn’t have the guts to make tough choices — he left that to governors and the states. Now he’s decided he doesn’t have to respect our State’s laws. As usual, he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.”

© Reuters Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. Reuters

“Instead, he came into our State and blatantly disregarded the emergency directives and tough choices made to fight this pandemic and begin reopening our economy by hosting an indoor gathering that’s categorized as “high risk” according to his own CDC.”

Sisolak signed the order banning groups of over 50 people in May. His office denied to The Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had anything to do with venues cancelling on the campaign.

Daren Griffin, president and CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, said after two airports scheduled to host Trump events cancelled them: “This has nothing to do with politics. The letter we sent is about directives and safety and not political campaigns.”

Sunday’s event was Trump’s first indoor rally since he held one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June.

In his tweets about Sisolak on Monday, Trump also continued his unsubstantiated claims that Democrats are trying to rig the election.

© Andrew Harnik/AP Photo Supporters cheer as Trump speaks at his Sunday rally in Nevada. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

He tweeted: “Can you imagine this man is in charge of the Ballots in Nevada!? Not fair, Rigged Election! @GovSisolak, will use every trick in the book to cheat with Ballots.”

His tweet, which mirrors similar comments that he made during his rally speech, continued his unproven  narrative that mail-in ballots are not secure and a Democratic victory that results from them would mean the election is rigged.

NBC also noted that, in Nevada, the state’s governor does not oversee elections or their results.

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