- Fireworks spelling out “TRUMP 2020” lit up the sky over the Washington Monument on the final night of the Republican National Convention.
- The display lasted almost six minutes and coincided with the end of President Trump’s speech after he formally accepted his renomination.
- This kind of display at a political convention is a first. This year’s RNC has seen Trump put the pageantry of his presidential office front and center.
- Some critics suggested that the display may violate the Hatch Act, an ethics rule meant to create a boundary between government and political activity.
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A massive display of fireworks spelling out “Trump” and “2020” lit up the sky over the Washington Monument on Thursday night as President Donald Trump formally accepted his renomination on the final day of the Republican National Convention.
The almost 6-minute long display featured 10,000 different types of fireworks, including aerial mines, shells, and Roman candles, USA Today reported.
It followed a trend across the convention of Trump putting the symbols and power of his office front and center, a departure from historical norms which has prompted widespread criticism.
Fireworks reading "TRUMP 2020" light up the Washington, D.C., sky after Pres. Trump concludes his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for president. https://t.co/AL3W4wottM pic.twitter.com/UgBB0WkIJd
— ABC News (@ABC) August 28, 2020
The spectacle came at the end of Trump's acceptance speech which was held on the South Lawn of the White House in front of 1,500 people, who appeared to not be wearing face masks and didn't observe social distancing.
"Together, we are unstoppable. Together, we are unbeatable. Because together, we are the proud citizens of the United States of America," Trump said in his final remarks, according to CNN.
"And on November 3rd, we will make America safer, we will make America stronger, we will make America prouder, and we will make America greater than ever before!"
— The Hill (@thehill) August 28, 2020
The firework show was followed by a performance by NY tenor, Christopher Macchio, who sang "Nessun Dorma" from the White House balcony.
The piece finishes with the word "Vincerò! Vincerò!", Italian for: "I will win! I will win!"
Some critics suggested that the spectacle may be a violation of the Hatch Act, an ethics law meant to enforce a boundary between government and political activity.
Rep. Dean Phillips from Minnesota's 3rd congressional district tweeted: "I'm authoring a bill to ban campaign events and political party conventions from ever being held on the grounds of The White House again. Do I have any co-sponsors out there?"
I’m authoring a bill to ban campaign events and political party conventions from ever being held on the grounds of The White House again. Do I have any co-sponsors out there?
— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) August 28, 2020
Norm Eisen, who served as a counsel for the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee during Trump's impeachment process, called the entire display "the greatest mass Hatch Act transgression in US history."
Do you know what I see?
Literally thousands of Hatch Act violations— one for every federal official who helped with or participated in this revolting display. The greatest mass Hatch Act transgression in US history.
Even the fireworks are a violation. pic.twitter.com/7xQbTMKoyo
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) August 28, 2020
Last week, the National Park Service approved a permit for the Republican National Committee to set off the fireworks at the National Mall, with the committee saying it will reimburse them for costs associated with overseeing the show.
As the evening came to a close, hundreds of protesters gathered on the streets of Washington DC for what was billed as a "noise demonstration and dance party" in an effort to drown out Trump's speech.
- Read more:
- Audience members at Pence's Republican convention speech weren't tested for Covid-19 even though they mingled with the vice president and Trump
- Experts worry Trump's Mount Rushmore Independence Day celebration is a coronavirus superspreader event in the making
- Photos show crowd of around 1,500 packed together and maskless on White House South Lawn for Trump's speech at the RNC
- Ivanka Trump said her son built a Lego replica of the White House for her father. She told a suspiciously similar story about herself 13 years ago.