Trump Spokeswoman Says If It’s Safe to Loot, It’s Safe to Party


President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman defended White House plans to hold numerous holiday season receptions and parties despite the pandemic, saying that if it’s safe for Americans to “loot businesses” then it’s safe for them to celebrate indoors.

“If you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protests, you can also go to a Christmas party,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday. “You can celebrate the holiday of Christmas and you can do it responsibly.”

The remark appeared to be another jab at people who have joined nationwide protests against police brutality. Trump has frequently belittled the mostly peaceful protesters as looters and rioters.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the White House plans to hold at least 25 Christmas and Hannukah parties during Trump’s final holiday season in Washington. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans that staying home during the holidays is the best way to avoid contracting Covid-19 as the virus surges around the country.

“The People’s House will celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah while providing the safest environment possible,” first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, said in an e-mail.

She said the parties will have “smaller guest lists” and people attending will be required to wear masks. Social distancing will be “encouraged,” hand sanitizer stations will be set up in areas of the White House used for the celebrations, and buffets will be replaced with plated dishes served from “plexiglass-protected food stations,” among other precautions, she said.

“Attending the parties will be a very personal choice,” she said. She did not say how many parties the White House is planning to host.

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