Trump trims White House party guest list, says he'd 'maybe' address nation as Biden sets up Wilmington podium
It was revealed that all attendees of the party, scheduled to take place in the East Room, will have to get tested for Covid-19 before entering the venue
President Donald Trump reduced the number of his guests for his election party night at the White House to 250 from 400, and says that he would "maybe" address the country on Tuesday night, November 3, after polls close. The downsizing of the guestlist was first reported by CNN as it was revealed that all attendees of the party, scheduled to take place in the East Room, will have to get tested for Covid-19 before entering the venue.
As the Republican expressed uncertainty over his election night address, the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, suggested that he would address the nation regardless of the outcome of the election, according to his campaign. Reports state that a podium in Wilmington, Delaware, has already been set up outside the Chase Center for Biden.
Trump, in a statement on Tuesday about his post-Election Day address, said: "Well I may, we're going to have to see." The Republican made the statement after a brief visit to the Republican National Committee Annex in Arlington, Virginia, where his campaign is stationed and thanked them for their efforts. He said: "We have a big night planned, we're going to have a very big night." As the president concluded his Q&A with reporters in Arlington, he added: "We'll maybe see you later."
President Trump had originally planned to host a post-election party at his Trump International Hotel just blocks away from the White House. The New York Times, however, reported last week that the party was called off. When the president was asked about it, he suggested that coronavirus restrictions put in place by Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had hindered their plans.
"You know, Washington, DC is shut down, the mayor has shut it down. We have a hotel. I don't know if it's shut down - if you're allowed to use it or not - but I know the mayor has shut down Washington, DC," Trump told reporters. "And if that's the case we'll probably stay here or pick another location. I think it's crazy Washington, DC is shut down, can you imagine?" he added.
Washington, DC, which is currently in "phase two" of the coronavirus lockdown reopening, has so far permitted bars and restaurants to open with outdoor and limited indoor capacity. The bar at Trump's hotel in DC has reportedly been open for months, but gatherings at the venue are capped at 50. The president, however, can invite as many guests as he wants on federal property.
Meanwhile, reports state that Biden is scheduled to hold his election night festivities in the same parking lot where he watched fireworks after his August nomination speech at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) along with his running mate Kamala Harris. Biden and Harris reportedly opted to not travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, because of the ongoing pandemic. The pair, instead of attending the four-day convention in Milwaukee, gave their addresses to a small audience of reporters in Wilmington.
Trump, four years ago during his first presidential bid, had opted to host his election night celebration at the Midtown Hilton in New York City, a non-Trump branded property. Political pundits at the time had interpreted the move as a sign of self-acknowledgment of a likely election loss to then political rival Democrat Hillary Clinton.