Trump cites ‘political activity’ carve-out for lack of social distancing at club


President Trump on Friday said supporters at his New Jersey club didn’t have to observe social distancing rules because his press conference qualified for a political-activity exemption.

“It’s also a peaceful protest,” he said at the country club setting. “You have an exclusion in the law, which says peaceful protest or political activity.”

Reporters in the room at Bedminster posted photos of many people in the room not wearing masks, though said aides later handed out face coverings.

New Jersey regulations, effective Tuesday, say rooms should limit their capacity to 25 persons, though the state provided exceptions for things like weddings, funerals and political activities.

Mr. Trump’s supporters booed a reporter for suggesting the gathering violated the rules.

The president’s coronavirus task force has implored people across the country to maintain 6 feet of distance from others and wear masks whenever possible.

Mr. Trump this week praised Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who was able to control the rampant spread of the coronavirus in his state by breaking up large gatherings.

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