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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

In Hannity Interview, Trump Says There Is 'No Way' He Would Cancel RNC In Charlotte

Fox News
President Trump said Thursday there is "no way" he will cancel the Republican National Convention in Charlotte

President Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night that there is "no way" he would cancel the Republican National Convention that's scheduled for August at Charlotte's Spectrum Center.

“We are definitely planning — it’s toward the end of August. Somebody was asking today, ‘Will you cancel your convention?’ I said no way I’m going to cancel the convention," Trump said during the phone-in interview. "We’re going to have the convention, it’s going to be incredible."

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said it's too soon to make any proclamations, though.

"That is not until the end of August," she said Friday. "There's a lot of months and things that can happen between now and the end of August. Quite frankly, we're not really looking that far down the road. We're really trying to get through the next several weeks and see if we can't flatten the curve and slow the spread. So I'm sure there will be future conversations around the RNC but not today, not for us in the city and the county. That's kinda where we are."

The coronavirus pandemic is already altering the plans of national Republicans.

The GOP this week altered a planned media walk-through at the Spectrum Center on April 15. Because of Mecklenburg County's stay-at-home order, it has been shifted to a virtual event.

And the North Carolina Republican Party's state convention is being delayed by three weeks due to the new coronavirus emergency, and will now be held June 4-7.

If nothing changes with county and state orders that prohibit larger gatherings, the RNC could not be held in Charlotte.

But if the pandemic subsides -- and restrictions on commerce and gatherings are lifted -- then Trump will be free to hold the RNC in Charotte, even if the city is concerned about bringing 50,000 people to Charlotte from across the world.

The city of Charlotte's contract with the Republican National Committee and the local host committee only gives the city one reason to not host. The city could opt out of the convention if the federal government doesn't provide the city with an expected $50 million federal security grant.

City Attorney Patrick Baker told WFAE last week that the city's contract doesn't have a Force Majeure clause, which allows one party to opt out of a contract because of an Act of God, like a natural disaster or a pandemic.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled for July in Milwaukee. The Democratic National Committee is also planning to hold its convention as usual.

Go behind the headlines with WFAE political reporter Steve Harrison in his weekly newsletter, Inside Politics. Steve will provide insight about and analysis of local and statewide politics. Readers will gain an understanding of political news on the horizon and why it matters. 

While you're at it, go ahead and take a listen to our companion podcast:“Inside Politics: The RNC in Charlotte,” hosted by Steve Harrison and Lisa Worf.

Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.