President Trump’s campaign has set up two “war rooms” in the White House compound for election night, officials confirmed on Tuesday, once again raising questions about the mix of official and politician at the Trump era.
A war room is in Eisenhower’s executive office building, which is adjacent to the White House, campaign and White House officials have confirmed. White House officials also said there was a separate, smaller business in the White House building.
The use of government assets for political purposes has been a recurring theme in the Trump administration over the past year. Mr Trump held the final night of the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House in late August, after plans were repeatedly altered due to the coronavirus.
And in the final months of the campaign, Mr. Trump relied increasingly on political appointments and government agencies to bolster his reelection campaign.
The war room “had to be in close proximity to the president,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement. “There is no expense to American taxpayers for the use of a room,” where, he said, “events such as prayer services and receptions for outside groups occur frequently. “.
Mr Murtaugh added that “every piece of equipment, including WiFi and computers, has been paid for by the campaign, and no White House staff are involved.
The White House legal adviser’s office approved the arrangement, he said.
Previous administrations have put in place some sort of surveillance effort at the White House, although some have been careful to avoid involving campaign staff.
When former President George W. Bush ran for reelection in 2004, his team moved into the White House residence with a screen for officials to monitor campaign data, according to one person. involved in the operation. It has been approved by the White House. Lawyers office. But in this case campaign staff were not present and officials involved had to demonstrate that they had worked a certain number of hours in government in order to participate, the person involved said.