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Trump’s first public address since COVID-19 diagnosis had hallmarks of a campaign event at the White House

President Trump’s first public appearance since he announced his COVID-19 diagnosis appeared to be an unofficial rally at the White House. On Saturday, Mr. Trump addressed hundreds of supporters closely gathered and dressed in Trump campaign gear, repeating unfounded claims of election fraud, attacking Democratic leaders, and falsely claiming that Joe Biden is a socialist. 

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the event was an “official” event, and “the campaign is not involved in this.” Anyone in attendance was invited by the White House, Deere said.

While using the White House for a partisan political event is a violation of the Hatch Act, Deere insisted Saturday’s event had “no Hatch Act implications” because it was run by the White House and not the campaign. 

The Hatch Act does not apply to the president or vice president, but does apply to any other executive branch officials who are involved. The president

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Trump to return to public events with ‘law and order’ address at White House

Defiant in the face of slipping opinion polls, and determined to justify his implausible claim of a full recovery from his encounter with Covid-19, Donald Trump will return to public events on Saturday with a “law and order” address to 2,000 invited guests from the White House balcony.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Related: ‘A surreal reality show’: Trump’s terrible week after his Covid diagnosis

Questions about the president’s health are still swirling following the refusal of doctors or aides to reveal when Trump last tested negative for coronavirus, and today’s lunchtime in-person event – just six days after he left Walter Reed medical center following a three-night stay – appears to counter his own government’s health guidelines over large gatherings and social distancing.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC, on 1 October.


© Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in

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