Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf claimed Sunday that he did not know the naturalization ceremony he led at the White House last week would be televised at the Republican National Convention later that day.
In a pretaped scene aired Aug. 25 as part of the convention’s prime-time programming, President Donald Trump participated in a naturalization ceremony at the White House for five new citizens while Wolf administered the Oath of Allegiance. The video raised concerns that Trump and Wolf used the ceremony on government property to further the president’s reelection chances.
In an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” the DHS head argued that he believed Trump just genuinely happened to be leading a naturalization ceremony alongside him with cameras filming it at the White House during the week of the convention ― where Republicans officially renominated Trump for president.
“Again, naturalization ceremonies are what the department does. We do hundreds, if not thousands, of them every year,” Wolf told ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “I participated in several of them not only with the president, but with the vice president.
“So it’s absolutely a legitimate role for the department to do,” he continued. “Again, we do them across the nation. I did one in Denver the day after on Wednesday of this past week, and we’ll continue to do that.”
When Karl continued pressing Wolf to answer his question about whether he knew the ceremony would be aired at the RNC, the DHS chief said, “No.”
NEW: “No,” acting DHS Sec. Chad Wolf tells @jonkarl when pressed about whether he knew that the naturalization ceremony that he led at the White House would be aired as part of the Republican National Convention. https://t.co/zlzRmVpIbEpic.twitter.com/ktyzY1fOlS— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 30, 2020
“What I knew is again, participating in a naturalization ceremony, we had a number of USCIS employees there, as they do every...