"[W]e are planning for all of the Charlotte activities to be closed press: Friday, August 21 – Monday, 24th given the health restrictions and limitations in place in the state," a convention spokesperson said in a statement. "We are happy to let you know if this changes, but we are working within the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events."
The RNC's move from Jacksonville to Charlotte has endured conflicts between the Trump administration and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper regarding crowd size. Trump accused Cooper late last month of trying to limit his event inside the near-20,000 seat arena to "10 people."
Cooper denied these allegations, claiming he "asked for written plans for keeping attendees safe," but instead, the Trump administration "demanded a guarantee that they could hold a full convention without social distancing or face coverings."
The efforts to scale down the convention have been extended to the delegates, which has gone from 2,550 attending to just 336. RNC communications director Michael Ahrens stresses that their stance on the media's attendance, however, hasn't been finalized yet. "No final decision has been made and we are still working through logistics and press coverage options," Ahrens toldCNN. "We are working with the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events."
An RNC official told CNN that it's likely Trump will not be delivering a big speech when he accepts his nomination at the convention. He will instead use his time in Charlotte to thank the delegates in a "private, closed press event." This could turn out to be the first time ever that a Republican presidential nominating convention where reporters will not be admitted.