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Trump narrows nomination speech sites to Gettysburg and White House

Latest from the 2020 campaign trail
Latest from the 2020 campaign trail 03:23

President Trump said Monday he plans to deliver his speech accepting the Republican nomination for president at either the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania or the White House.

"We have narrowed the Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, to be delivered on the final night of the Convention (Thursday), to two locations - The Great Battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the White House, Washington, D.C. We will announce the decision soon!" Mr. Trump tweeted early Monday afternoon.

Mr. Trump had already floated the White House as a possibility for the speech, but Gettysburg is a new, and unusual, possibility. Gettysburg is the site of the bloodiest battle in the Civil War, a war which divided Americans and families. The battle, which spanned three days in July 1863, resulted in 51,000 casualties and the defeat of the invading Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee. 

Asked why the president might choose that site to accept the GOP nomination, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president "has done a lot to bring this country together." 

"I won't get ahead of the president as to what his convention speech will look look like but the president has done a lot to bring this country together," she said during a press briefing at the White House. 

The battlefield at Gettysburg is now a national military park administered by the National Park Service. The president has come under fire from Democrats for potentially delivering such a high-profile political speech on federal property.

Mr. Trump spent part of the summer tweeting messages that members of his own party described as unhelpful in the wake of the protests about racial inequality and police brutality.  

Top Trump campaign official Lara Trump spoke with CBS News about the possibility of a Gettysburg speech.

"It is a battleground state obviously. But also, if you think back, the president very early on in his administration gave a great speech from Gettysburg," she said. "And it was a really unifying speech. And maybe, I guess a lot of people saw it as a promise to America of what he wanted to do. And I think that's the goal. Look, we want to unify as a party and this administration, this president wants to unify the American people. He wants to remind people, it's not about the color of your skin or your gender. We're all Americans at the end of the day and we are all fighting for our shot at the American dream."

The GOP convention was originally supposed to take place in North Carolina but was moved to Jacksonville, Florida, before the president canceled plans to speak there, as well. 

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