No word from Trump campaign about Gettysburg speech, local officials say

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

As of Thursday afternoon, officials from Gettysburg borough, Adams County and the National Park Service said they'd received no word from President Donald Trump's campaign about whether the president would deliver his nomination speech on the historic battlefield.

In a Tweet Monday, the president said he would accept the Republican Party's presidential nomination either at the White House or at Gettysburg National Military Park.

Trump will deliver the speech Aug. 27, the last night of the Republican National Convention, which has been overhauled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gettysburg's borough manager, Charles Gable, said Thursday the borough usually has ample time to prepare for a large event, and with the president's speech only two weeks away, the window of time for preparation and planning is closing.

"We would like to be communicated with, if it’s actually going to happen," Gable said.

Local and state agencies are often involved with issues such as road closures, traffic control and security during a presidential visit.

In this Jan. 9, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump points as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Trump said Wednesday at a White House briefing that he would likely announce his decision within the next week.

"The White House would be much easier from the standpoint of secret service," the president said.

Some lawmakers, including top Senate Republicans, have said it would be a violation of the Hatch Act for the president to give a campaign speech at the White House.

Gettysburg National Military Park officials have not been contacted by the Trump campaign, spokesperson Jason Martz said.

And Adams County officials also haven't heard from the campaign, said Steve Nevada, county manager.

Gable said it would be naive not to expect some kind of protest if Trump were to deliver his speech at Gettysburg.

"We would want as much advance notice as possible, so that we can do our due diligence here in the borough to marshal the resources that would be required for an influx of large crowds of people," Gable said.

As for concerns about the coronavirus, Gable said it's the Gettysburg Borough Council's position that all visitors to the borough should wear face masks in public.

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