• Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

Trump campaign paying to repair damage to White House grounds from RNC events

The Trump campaign is footing the bill for sod replacement needed on the White House grounds after various Republican National Convention events held there last month damaged parts of the South Lawn and Rose Garden, a senior campaign official told NBC News on Tuesday.

The amount to repair the landscape is unknown, but a White House official said it is not completely uncommon across administrations after major events take place on the complex lawns for repairs to be done.

The White House also confirmed the payment in a statement.

“The sod is being replaced at no cost to taxpayers. Additionally, there has been other planned infrastructure work taking place on the south grounds,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told NBC News.

However, the campaign paying the costs could draw the ire of ethics officials, who previously raised serious objections to a political convention featuring several government officials, including the president and vice president, being held at the White House. Under a federal law known as the Hatch Act, government employees are prohibited from engaging in certain political activities and using government resources for political campaigning.

The Rose Garden underwent extensive renovations just prior to first lady Melania Trump’s speech. The first lady worked for months with historians, horticulturists, and others to restore the Rose Garden to its original 1962 design for her speech.

There were more than 1,500 people gathered on the White House grounds during President Donald Trump’s nomination acceptance speech, which required heavy equipment for large-scale production, including staging and lights.