Trump campaign paying to repair damage to White House grounds from RNC events

More than 1,500 people gathered on the White House grounds for Trump's speech, which required heavy equipment for large-scale production, including staging and lights.
Image: Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump speaks on the second night of the Republican National Convention from the Rose Garden of the White House on Aug. 25.Evan Vucci / AP
By Dartunorro Clark and Hallie Jackson

The Trump campaign is footing the bill for sod replacement needed on the White House grounds after various Republican National Convention events last month damaged parts of the South Lawn and the Rose Garden, a senior campaign official said Tuesday.

The amount to repair the landscape is unknown, but a White House official said it is not completely uncommon across administrations for repairs to be made after major events on the complex lawns.

The White House also confirmed the payment in a statement.

"The sod is being replaced at no cost to taxpayers. Additionally, there has been other planned infrastructure work taking place on the south grounds," White House spokesman Judd Deere told NBC News.

RNC highlights from Night 4

Aug. 28, 202003:32

However, the campaign's paying the costs could draw the ire of ethics officials, who previously raised serious objections to holding a political convention featuring several government officials, including the president and the vice president, at the White House. Under a federal law known as the Hatch Act, government employees are prohibited from engaging in certain political activities and using government resources for political campaigning.

The Rose Garden underwent extensive renovations just before Melania Trump's speech. The first lady worked for months with historians, horticulturists and others to restore the Rose Garden to its original 1962 design for her speech.

More than 1,500 people gathered on the White House grounds during President Donald Trump's nomination acceptance speech, which required heavy equipment for large-scale production, including staging and lights.