Trump Threatens to Pull RNC 2020 From North Carolina Unless Gov. Roy Cooper Allows Full Attendance

President Donald Trump has threatened to pull plans to hold the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August if the state's Democratic governor does not agree to allow "full attendance" at the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement published on Twitter on Monday, Memorial Day, the president said he had initially "insisted" on having the GOP convention in Charlotte due to his love of the "Great State of North Carolina."

"Unfortunately, Democrat Governor [Roy Cooper] is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed...full attendance in the Arena," Trump said.
"In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space," the president continued.

"Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August," Trump said. "They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied."

I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August. Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed...

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2020

"If not," the president said, "we will be reluctantly find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site."

"This is not something I want to do. Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!" the president added.

In a statement shared on Twitter, a spokesperson for Cooper said state health officials were working "working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte.

"North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state's public health and safety," they said.

Statement from Gov. Cooper’s spokesperson on today’s comments about the Republican National Convention:

— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) May 25, 2020

It is unclear where Trump would be planning to move the GOP convention to if North Carolina's governor does not agree to allow full attendance at the event in August.

As of Monday morning, North Carolina had more than 23,200 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 744 deaths, according to government data.

On Friday, the state entered "Phase 2" of its plans to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, allowing some restaurants and businesses to reopen with limited capacity.

Cooper had asked North Carolina residents to exercise caution amid the relaxing of rules.

On Friday, he implored residents to continue to practice social distancing and wear face coverings over the Memorial Day weekend.

"I want you to have a great time, but continue using caution," he said. "This is how we protect ourselves and particularly our family and neighbors."

Phase 2 is expected to run through until at least Friday, June 26.

Under current phase, gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors "in most circumstances."

Those limits are meant to apply to "event venues; conference centers; stadiums and sports arenas, ampitheaters; and groups at parks or beaches," according to a release from the governor's office.

Cooper had said in a statement accompanying the release that "North Carolina is using the data to guide our decisions about when to lift COVID-19 restrictions."

"Safer At Home Phase 2 is another careful step forward, and we have to continue taking this virus seriously to prevent a dangerous spike in infections," he said.

This article has been updated with a statement from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's office. Newsweek has contacted Cooper's office for further comment.

President Donald Trump makes a statement in the briefing room at the White House on May 22, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The president has threatened to pull plans to hold the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, if the state's governor cannot guarantee that 'full attendance' would be allowed at the event. Alex Wong/Getty