The Trump reelection campaign confirmed on Tuesday that it set up an Election Day “war room” in the Executive Office next to the White House.
“The war room needed to be in close proximity to the president and there is no expense whatsoever to American taxpayers for the use of a room in the EEOB, where events like prayer services and receptions for outside groups frequently occur,” campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told news outlets.
“Every piece of equipment, including WiFi and computers, was paid for by the campaign, and no White House staff is involved,” he added. “The arrangement has been approved by White House counsel.”
President Donald Trump’s campaign is expected to work out of the building as the results come in on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Trump visited his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday morning and met with advisers.
The office is located on the grounds of the White House.
It came months after Trump used the White House South Lawn to make his Republican National Convention acceptance speech.
Across the United States, there were long lines and sporadic reports of polling places opening late, along with equipment issues in counties in Ohio, Texas, and Georgia. This was all expected given voter enthusiasm, the decentralized nature of U.S. elections, and last-minute voting changes brought on by the pandemic. There were also reports, as there are every election, of efforts to discourage people from voting that surfaced in robocalls in Michigan and Iowa. The FBI was investigating.
“We have not seen anything significant where it comes to voter intimidation or harassment. We are seeing enthusiastic partisan supporters in some places, but we are not seeing the kind of concerns that we may have had in the run-up to today,” said Suzanne Almeida, interim executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday afternoon, a federal judge in Washington D.C. ordered U.S. Postal Service inspectors to sweep 27 mail processing facilities for lingering mail-in ballots and send out those votes immediately. The order, which includes centers in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, South Florida, and parts of Wisconsin, followed concerns the agency wouldn’t be able to deliver ballots on time. Postal data has shown service in some battleground areas severely lagging.
Federal officials said they are monitoring any possible threats to election infrastructure.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Christopher Krebs, the director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. “Today, in some sense, is half-time. There may be other events or activities or efforts to interfere and undermine confidence in the election. So I’d ask all Americans to be patient, to treat all sensational and unverified claims with skepticism, and remember technology sometimes fails and breaks.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.