Donald Trump was accused of breaking the law by the mayor of Atlanta, just minutes after he arrived in the city.
The president was spotted not wearing a face mask after disembarking from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order for the Georgia city making face coverings mandatory in all public places to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Trump, who was seen wearing a mask at the weekend, when he visited the Walter Reed military hospital in Washington, did not wear a mask when he was on the runway at the airport despite everyone else around him wearing one.
Speaking to MSNBC, Bottoms, who is being touted as one of the top prospects to be Joe Biden's running mate in this year's election said:
Well, Donald Trump is actually violating the law as he stands on our tarmac without a mask. The city of Atlanta owns and operates Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest in the world and in Atlanta, our city controlled assets, we have a mandate that you should have on a mask. I am very glad to see that the others on the tarmac are following the law in Atlanta but it's not surprising to me that Donald Trump is once again breaking it.
“Well Donald Trump is actually violating the law as he stands on our tarmac without a mask” https://t.co/45xMzF1ocx
Bottoms repeated her stance during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN but the White House has disputed the claims. The president's deputy press secretary Judd Deere told CNN that Trump was following the current CDC guidelines:
The president takes the health and safety of everyone travelling in support of himself and all White House operations very seriously. When preparing for and carrying out any travel, White House Operations collaborates with the physician to the president and the White House Military Office, to ensure plans incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting Covid-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible.
The mayor added that she will not be following her case against Trump any further, telling CNN that the only citation that she will be giving him is "just a citation that sends him back to Washington, DC."
Bottoms' comments about the president come amid an ongoing dispute with the Republican governor of Georgia Brian Kemp. He is claiming that local governments are not allowed to enforce rules about face masks, which he included in an executive order that he had signed on Wednesday.
As the city owns the airport, Bottoms believes that it is within her jurisdiction and anyone not wearing a mask can be punished with a citation, fine and or even a six-month jail sentence but Kemp feels this goes beyond the guidance he has put in place.