US President Donald Trump said that he plans to deliver his convention speech while formally accepting the Republican presidential nomination from either the White House or Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, an American Civil War battlefield.
“We have narrowed the Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, to be delivered on the final night of the Convention (Thursday), to two locations — The Great Battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the White House, Washington, D.C.,” Trump said in a tweet on Monday.
“We will announce the decision soon,” he added.
Last week, the President had said that he would “probably” give the speech from the White House, raising legal and ethical issues since the White House, as a federal property, is not supposed to be used in political events, reports Xinhua news agency.
A federal law known as the Hatch Act generally forbids the use of government property and employees for political activities with some exceptions.
However, if Trump chooses the battlefield at Gettysburg, now a national historic site, he may face similar criticism for delivering such a high-profile political speech on federal property.
While addressing reporters at the White House earlier on Monday, the President said: “I’ve been to Gettysburg numerous times. It’s a national park. It’s a national historic site. It’s incredible.
“It is a very important place in our country, so we’re looking at that.”
Trump last spoke at Gettysburg in October 2016, just weeks prior to the election.
He also said the White House would be “a lovely place” for the event, and the “least expensive place”.
“There wouldn’t be any expense or extraordinary expense,” he said. “This is a government expense.”
Trump said he was considering having an audience for the event, and there would be “plenty of room at both locations”.
In July 1863, the three-day Gettysburg battle resulted in 51,000 casualties and the defeat of the invading Confederate army under General Robert E.Lee, making it the bloodiest one and a turning point in the four-year American Civil War.
On November 19, 1863, late President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous “Gettysburg Address” at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania after the Battle of Gettysburg.