Reno-Tahoe Airport says Trump campaign rally violates state directive

Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 5:10 PM PDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2020 at 3:20 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Reno-Tahoe International Airport on Wednesday released a letter sent to the private airport hangar tenants who were planning to host a campaign rally for President Donald Trump on Saturday, September 12, informing them that the event would be in violation of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s emergency directive.

In the letter, the airport states that the 5,000-person gathering far exceeds the 50-person limit set forth by the governor, stating in part:

“Your lease requires you to comply with all applicable state laws and directives. Such a rally is a violation of this directive.”

After reviewing the lease, the airport said its attorney found the rally would be in violation of Directive 021 from the Nevada Governor.

“This has nothing to do with politics. The letter we sent is about directives and safety and not political campaigns,” Daren Griffin, President/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, said. “We would hold our tenants to the same standard whether it was a Democratic or Republican rally or any other type of gathering. We are complying with the Governor’s directive and Washoe County’s recommendation during a pandemic.”

The letter also cited the terms of the lease where tenants agree not to interfere with or impede the operations of the airport. The airport said demonstrations and counter demonstrations near the confined area of the proposed rally and its limited access and proximity to the active runways were concerning.

“Our primary mission as a commercial airport is safety,” Griffin said. “We must comply with federal and state laws, directives and regulations regardless of the political season or party.”

The airport’s response follows a statement from President Trump’s campaign saying his Nevada visits would go on as planned:

“Democrats are trying to keep President Trump from speaking to voters because they know the enthusiasm behind his re-election campaign cannot be matched by Joe Biden – a historically weak candidate controlled by the radical left who could hold a campaign event in a broom closet. The President’s uplifting message of American greatness resonates with people, while everyone knows that Biden is a tool of the radical left who would raise taxes and tank the incredible comeback that is already underway. President Trump will be traveling to Nevada on the dates planned. Additional details will be announced soon.” - Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director

Earlier Wednesday, former Nevada Attorney General and Chairman of President Trump’s reelection campaign in Nevada, Adam Laxalt tweeted that the president’s Nevada events were canceled:

Outrageous! @realDonaldTrump rally venues in NV canceled. Welcome to Sisolak’s Nevada – home of partisan political retribution. This is unprecedented – to cancel an incumbent President’s campaign stop inside 60 days of a major contested election in a swing state. This isn’t over!

The governor’s office denied any involvement with reports that the events were canceled, saying on Twitter:

The Governor’s Office had no involvement or communication with the event organizers or potential hosts regarding the proposed campaign events advertised by the Trump campaign.

Current statewide emergency directives include mandatory face coverings, limitations on public and private gatherings to no more than 50 people, and other measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The Nevada-specific White House recommendations have consistently included recommendations to limit the size of gatherings for weeks now.

NV Dems also weighed in with the following statement from Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Madison Mundy:

“The fact that Donald Trump was even considering holding these unsafe events in the midst of a global pandemic is just the latest example of his poor judgment and complete disregard for Nevadans' public health and safety. The state is currently reeling from a pandemic exacerbated by Trump’s disastrous coronavirus response. Limitations on in-person gatherings in Nevada were established to fill the void in leadership created by Trump. Thanks to emergency directives implemented by state leadership, great progress has been made in controlling deadly outbreaks. Trump is only the victim of his own incompetence.”

ORIGINAL STORY: President Donald Trump will be making a campaign stop in the Biggest Little City.

The president plans to hold a Great American Comeback event in Reno on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The event is being hosted by a private party inside a private hangar.

Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Click here for tickets.

The president will then head to Las Vegas on Sunday, September 13, 2020 for an event at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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