The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority said it sent a letter to Trump rally organizers and the hangar where the rally is to be held saying the planned 5,000-person event might not proceed as planned after airport attorneys said it would violate state and local CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus ordinances.
“Given the above, you are hereby advised that you may not proceed with the proposed gathering,” Tina Iftiger, senior vice president and chief commercial officer for the airport authority, told Hangar 9 LLC, reported the Nevada Independent.
“This has nothing to do with politics,” airport authority CEO Daren Griffin said in a statement, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. “The letter we sent is about directives and safety and not political campaigns. We would hold our tenants to the same standard whether it was a Democratic or Republican rally or any other type of gathering.”
He added that the airport will be complying with Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s “directive” and “Washoe County’s recommendation during a pandemic.”
Sisolak, meanwhile, wrote on Twitter that his office had “no involvement or communication with the event organizers or potential hosts regarding the proposed campaign events advertised by the Trump campaign.” The governor noted that there are statewide limitations on gatherings of more than 50 people, saying that people also have to wear face coverings.
Adam Laxalt, a former Nevada attorney general and co-chair of Trump’s reelection campaign in Nevada, wrote that the move was an “unprecedented” and “outrageous” act of “partisan political retribution” on behalf of Sisolak.
“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!” he wrote.
The Trump campaign released a statement, alleging that state Democrats are trying to prevent the president from visiting Nevada. It said that regardless of the warning from the airport authority, Trump will still visit the state
“President Trump will be traveling to Nevada on the dates planned. Additional details will be announced soon,” campaign spokesman Tim Murtagh said in a statement, adding: “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,” the Democratic nominee for president.
But airport officials said the term’s of the company’s lease requires that the hangar operations don’t interfere with the operation of the overall airport. The airport added that political demonstrations and counter-demonstrations near runways are also “a cause of serious concern,” according to the Gazette-Journal.
“Our primary mission as a commercial airport is safety,” Griffin added. “We must comply with federal and state laws, directives and regulations regardless of the political season or party.”