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RNC 2020 Day 1: President Trump to be formally nominated by delegates


RNC 2020 Day 1: President Trump to be formally nominated by delegates

Republicans opened their scaled-back national convention Monday with a roll call vote to formally renominate President Donald Trump to top the Republican ticket in November.The overall theme of the convention, “Honoring the Great American Story,” highlights “the promise and greatness of America” and Trump’s “leadership and what he has planned for the future,” a Trump…

RNC 2020 Day 1: President Trump to be formally nominated by delegates

Republicans opened their scaled-back national convention Monday with a roll call vote to formally renominate President Donald Trump to top the Republican ticket in November.

The overall theme of the convention, “Honoring the Great American Story,” highlights “the promise and greatness of America” and Trump’s “leadership and what he has planned for the future,” a Trump campaign official said. Each night will also have a sub-theme; on Monday, it is “Land of Promise.”

The presidential nomination, seconding speeches and roll call took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday morning.

ABC News Live will kick off primetime coverage each day at 7 p.m. ET on the network’s streaming news channel, and primetime coverage will air from 10-11 p.m. ET each night of the convention on the ABC Television Network.

The following are highlights from the first night of the RNC:

11:51 p.m. 3 key takeaways from night one of the Republican National Convention

Against a backdrop of a struggling economy and more than 170,000 lives lost to the coronavirus, Republicans on Monday painted an ominous picture of what losing the White House would mean for the country.

It may not have been the traditional, crowd-filled production the president and his party originally wanted to celebrate, but the first night of the Republican National Convention featured a slew of speakers, videos, and even appearances from the president himself. Through it all, the president’s party offered haunting interpretations of the current political and cultural landscape.

Event organizers said the first night of the convention would serve as a table setter for the next three days, and the following three takeaways from the first night of the RNC could continue to play out over the rest of the week.

Read more of the key takeaways:

11:38 p.m. Trump’s convention sells optimism – based on grievance and fear: ANALYSIS

The hero of this story is President Donald Trump. The story only works if he could lose — and that such a loss would be very, very bad.

The question looming over the Republican National Convention and beyond is whether the broader nation will listen to a rewritten tale with fear at its core — or whether this week is mainly Trump supporters telling themselves what they want to hear.

As told through night one of the mainly pre-taped convention, Trump’s leadership has already taken the nation through to the other side of the crisis caused by COVID-19 — the “China virus,” as it was repeatedly called Monday.

The country is back on the move — yet that progress is threatened by former Vice President Joe Biden and the agenda he would empower. On that path, or so the story goes, are shutdowns, riots, crime, higher taxes, economic ruin and even an entirely different nation.

Republicans found broad unity in prosecuting a case against Biden, almost treating him as if he was the incumbent instead of a former vice president who has been out of office for four years. There’s a concerted effort to focus on the economy — one of the few issue areas where Trump is perceived to have a natural advantage, according to polling.

But distortions of what Biden and his running mate want are tougher to sell when the realities of Trump’s America are this stark. This summer of illness, disruptions, racial tensions and economic strife serve as the counterweight — and they don’t need week-long conventions to be felt in people’s lives.

Read more of ABC News Political Director Rick Klein’s analysis:

11:09 p.m. Sen. Tim Scott: The election is ‘about the promise of America’

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., giving the keynote speech said the United States has been tested in 2020.

“From a global pandemic, to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, 2020 has tested our nation in ways we haven’t seen for decades,” he said.

“While this election is between Donald Trump and Joe Biden … it’s about the promise of America.”

“It’s about you and me, our challenges and heartbreaks, hopes and dreams. It’s about how we respond when tackling critical issues like police reform,” he said. “Do we want a society that breeds success, or a culture that cancels everything it even slightly disagrees with? I know where I stand, because you see, I am living my mother’s American Dream.”

Scott went on to talk about how his parents divorced when he was 7 and how he lived in a two-bedroom house with his grandparents, mother and brother.

“My mom worked 16 hours a day to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. She knew that if we could find the opportunity, bigger things would come. I thought I had to use football to succeed in life, and my focus on academics faded away. I failed my freshman year of high school — four subjects: Spanish, English, world geography and civics,” he said.

“But even while I was failing the 9th grade, my mother always said, ‘when you shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will be among the stars.’ She never lost faith in me, even when I lost faith in myself. Because of her encouragement, I went to summer school and caught up,” he continued.

He then turned to how he eventually started a successful small business and eventually ran for Congress in 2010 in the district is based in Charleston, South Carolina, where the Civil War started and against “a son of our legendary Sen. Strom Thurmond.”

“You may be asking yourself how does a poor black kid, from a single parent household, run and win a race in a crowded Republican primary against a Thurmond?” he asked. “Because of the evolution of the heart — in an overwhelmingly white district — the voters judged me on the content of my character, not the color of my skin.”

“The truth is, our nation’s arc always bends back towards fairness. We are not fully where we want to be…but thank God we are not where we used to be,” he continued.

Scott urged viewers to look beyond what the candidates have said.

“This election is about your future, and it’s critical to paint a full picture of the records of Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” he said.

10:54 p.m. RNC speakers, more than a dozen times, say Dems want to defund police

Despite Joe Biden’s comments to ABC “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts on Friday that he doesn’t want to defund police, Monday night’s speakers have warned that Democrats will defund police and law enforcement more than a dozen times.

“No matter what the Democrats say, you and I both know when we dial 9-1-1, we don’t want it going to voicemail. So defunding the police is not an option,” Donald Trump Jr. said most recently.

Read more:

ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel

10:46 p.m. Donald Trump Jr. compares father to Biden’s ‘past half-century’ in the ‘swamp’

Donald Trump Jr. focused his speech on what his father has done as president with what Joe Biden has done in his long career in “the swamp.”

“If you think about it, Joe Biden’s entire economic platform seems designed to crush the working man and woman. He supported the worst trade deals in the history of the planet. He voted for the NAFTA Nightmare. Down the tubes went our auto industry. He pushed TPP. Goodbye manufacturing jobs. Beijing Biden is so weak on China that the Intelligence Community recently assessed that the Chinese Communist Party favors Biden. They know he’ll weaken us both economically and on the world stage,” he said.

Earlier this month the director of the National Counterintelligence Security Center said in a statement that China, Russia and Iran are working to influence the upcoming election, but while the statement said China “prefers” that Trump — who it sees as “unpredictable” — does not win reelection, it did not mention Biden specifically.

“Biden also wants to bring in more illegal immigrants to take jobs from American citizens. His open border policies would drive wages down for Americans at a time when low-income workers were getting real wage increases for the first time in modern history. He’s pledged to repeal the Trump Tax Cuts, which were the biggest in our history,” he continued. “After eight years of Obama and Biden’s slow growth, Trump’s policies have been like rocket fuel to the economy and especially the middle-class. Biden has promised to take that money back out of your pocket and keep it in the Swamp. But that makes sense, considering Joe Biden is basically the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp. For the past half-century, he’s been lurking around in there. He sticks his head up every now and then to run for president, then he disappears and doesn’t do much in between.”

“So if you’re looking for hope, look to the man who did what the failed Obama-Biden administration never could do and built the greatest economy our country had ever seen — and President Trump will do it again,” he said.

10:37 p.m. FiveThirtyEight: RNC, like DNC, wants to project unity

Both parties worried about appearing divided following 2016’s conventions, which included booing of some Democratic speakers and Sen. Ted Cruz failing to endorse the nominee. The lack of an audience minimizes some of this, but it seems like the parties are both trying to portray unity, according to Seth Masket, a professor of political science and director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver.

The lack of internal division is especially apparent given some of the major moments from 2016, which included upset delegates and the Cruz admonition to “vote your conscience.” Overall, I think that is a benefit for Trump in 2020, according to Matt Grossmann, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and professor of political science at Michigan State University.

More from our partners at FiveThirtyEight:

10:28 p.m. Nikki Haley: ‘America isn’t perfect. But the principles we hold dear are perfect’

Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley started her remarks by quoting another former ambassador, “‘Democrats always blame America first.’ The year was 1984. The president was Ronald Reagan. And Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick’s words are just as true today.”

“Joe Biden and the Democrats are still blaming America first. Donald Trump has always put America first. He has earned four more years as president,” she said. “It was an honor of a lifetime to serve as the United States ambassador to the United Nations. Now, the U.N. is not for the faint of heart. It’s a place where dictators, murderers and thieves denounce America, and then put their hands out and demand that we pay their bills. Well, President Trump put an end to all that. With his leadership, we did what Barack Obama and Joe Biden refused to do. We stood up for America, and we stood against our enemies.”

She then looked back at her time as governor of South Carolina.

“When Joe was VP, I was governor of the great state of South Carolina. We had a pretty good run. Manufacturers of all kinds flocked to our state from overseas, creating tens of thousands of American jobs. People were referring to South Carolina as ‘the beast of the southeast,’ which I loved,” she said. “Everything we did happened in spite of Joe Biden and his old boss. We cut taxes. They raised them. We slashed red tape. They piled on more mandates.”

Haley went on to talk about how she grew up as a “brown girl in a black and white world.”

“In much of the Democratic Party, it’s now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country. This is personal for me. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. They came to America and settled in a small southern town. My father wore a turban. My mother wore a sari,” she said. “We faced discrimination and hardship. But my parents never gave in to grievance and hate. My mom built a successful business. My dad taught 30 years at a historically black college. And the people of South Carolina chose me as their first minority and first female governor. America is a story that’s a work in progress. Now is the time to build on that progress, and make America even freer, fairer, and better for everyone. That’s why it’s tragic to see so much of the Democratic Party turn a blind eye toward riots and rage.”

She said it doesn’t have to be like this.

“America isn’t perfect. But the principles we hold dear are perfect. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America. It’s time to keep that blessing alive for the next generation. This President, and this Party, are committed to that noble task. We seek a nation that rises together, not falls apart in anarchy and anger. We know that the only way to overcome America’s challenges is to embrace America’s strengths,” she said.

10 p.m. Guilfoyle: ‘This election is a battle for the soul of America. Your choice is clear’

Kimberly Guilfoyle, quoting a theme Joe Biden has used throughout his campaign, said that the election is a battle for the soul of America and the choice is clear.

“Biden, Harris and their socialist comrades will fundamentally change this nation — they want open borders, closed schools, dangerous amnesty and will selfishly send your jobs back to China, while they get richer! They will defund, dismantle and destroy America’s law enforcement. When you are in trouble, and need 911, don’t count on the Democrats. As a first generation American, I know how dangerous their socialist agenda is,” she said.

“If you want to see the socialist Biden/Harris future for our country, just take a look at California. It is a place of immense wealth, immeasurable innovation and immaculate environment – and the democrats turned it into a land of discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets and blackouts in homes. In President Trump’s America we light things up, we don’t dim them down. We build things up, we don’t burn them down. We kneel in prayer and we stand for our flag. This election is a battle for the soul of America. Your choice is clear,” Guilfoyle continued. “Do you support the Cancel Culture, the cosmopolitan elites of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden — who blame America first? Do you think America is to blame? Or, do you believe in American Greatness, believe in yourself, in President Trump, in individual and personal responsibility?”

She added, “America, it’s all on the line. President Trump believes in you. He emancipates and lifts you up to live your American Dream.”

“Like my parents, You can achieve your American Dream. You can be that shining example to the world,” she said.

9:48 p.m. Mark McCloskey ‘We’re not the kind of people who back down,’ neither is Trump

Mark and Patty McCloskey, who went viral after they stepped outside their St. Louis home with guns as protesters walked past, spoke to the RNC Monday night.

“We’re speaking to you tonight from St. Louis, Missouri, where just weeks ago you may have seen us defending our home as a mob of protestors descended on our neighborhood,” Mark McCloskey said.

“What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country. And that’s what we want to speak to you about tonight,” Patty McCloskey said.

Mark McCloskey continued, “Whether it’s defunding the police, ending cash bail so criminals can be released back out on the streets the same day to riot again, or encouraging anarchy on our streets, it seems as if Democrats no longer view the government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens. Not a single person in the out-of-control mob you saw at our house was charged with a crime. But you know who was? We were. They’ve actually charged us with a felony for daring to defend our home.”

The McCloskeys who have claimed they were defending their St. Louis home from a “mob of protesters,” were charged last month with felony unlawful use of a weapon for brandishing guns during a peaceful demonstration outside their mansion.

“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest,” the St. Louis prosecutor said in a statement at the time.

“You know we’re not the kind of people who back down. Thankfully, neither is Donald Trump,” Mark McCloskey said.

“When we don’t have basic safety and security in our communities, we will never be free to build a brighter future for ourselves, for our children, and for our country,” Patty McCloskey said in conclusion. “That’s what’s at stake in this election. And that’s why we must re-elect Donald Trump.”

9:41 p.m. Andrew Pollack: ‘I truly believe the safety of your kids depends on whether this man is re-elected’

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, spoke about Trump’s response to the shooting and school security and disciplinary laws.

“I never wanted this to become a political spectacle but it did. And I never wanted to meet the president like this but I did,” he said. “I was invited to the White House. The truth is — I had just buried my daughter — I wasn’t really interested in public event like a tour or a photo-op. I was interested in answers and solutions, so if the president wanted to meet me personally, I said I’d go. They said, ‘of course, that was his plan.’ At the White House, my family and I told him about Meadow. I told him what we knew. I told him that his administration needed to take a closer look at what went wrong and why. And I got to see who he really is. He’s a good man and a great listener. And he cuts through the BS.”

Pollack continued, “Then, the President did what he said he said he would do: he took action. He formed a School Safety Commission that issued dozens of recommendations to make schools safer. But I’ll bet you never heard about that. Instead, the media turned my daughter’s murder into a coordinated attack on President Trump, Republicans, and the Second Amendment. In fact, when President Trump asked me to sit next to him when he announced the commission’s findings, the media’s first question wasn’t about protecting kids. It was about the government shutdown. President Trump turned to me and said, ‘can you believe these people, Andy? We’re trying to talk about school safety, and this is what they do?’ But I could believe it. After my daughter’s murder, the media didn’t seem interested in the facts. So I found them myself. When I learned that gun control laws didn’t fail my daughter. People did.”

“I truly believe the safety of your kids depends on whether this man is re-elected. I hope you’ll join me in helping to make that happen,” Pollack concluded.

9:33 p.m. Herschel Walker on his deep, personal relationship with Trump

Former NFL player Herschel Walker talked about his deep personal relationship with the president.

“Most of you know me as a football player. I’m also a father, a man of faith, and a very good judge of character. I have known Donald Trump for 37 years. And I don’t mean we just casually ran into each other from time to time. I’m talking about a deep personal friendship,” he said.

“It hurts my soul to hear the terrible names that people call Donald. The worst one is “racist.” I take it as a personal insult that people would think I would have a 37-year friendship with a racist. People who think that don’t know what they are talking about. Growing up in the deep south, I have seen racism up close. I know what it is. And it isn’t Donald Trump,” Walker continued. “Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our National Anthem, and our country doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice. I care about all of those things, and so does Donald Trump. He shows how much he cares about social justice and the black community through his actions. And his actions speak louder than any stickers or slogans on a jersey.”

9:28 p.m. Jim Jordan: ‘He truly cares about people’

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said he’s “busting his tail” to get the president re-elected because he appreciates something most American’s never see: “how much he truly cares about people.”

“He’s taken on the swamp, the Democrats, the press, and the Never Trumpers. And when you take on the swamp, the swamp fights back. They tried the Russia hoax, the Mueller investigation, and the fake impeachment. But despite this unbelievable opposition, look what this president has accomplished,” he said.

“I love the President’s intensity and his willingness to fight,” Jordan continued.

Jordan then described how after his nephew Eli died in a car crash, he was on the phone with the president and walking into Eli’s parents’ house.

“We talked about a few issues. And then he asked how the family was doing. I said they’re doing ‘OK, but it’s tough.’ The President said ‘Yeah. Losing a loved one’s always difficult, and it’s really tough when they’re so young.’ I then said ‘Mr. President, I’m actually walking into their house right now. Obviously, they don’t know I’m talking to you. But if you’d be willing to say hello to Eli’s dad, you’d make a terrible day a little less terrible,’ Jordan recalled. “‘What’s his name?’ the president asked. I walked through the door, and said ‘Todd, the President wants to talk to you.'”

“For the next five minutes, family and friends sat in complete silence, as the president of the United States took time to talk to a dad who was hurting. That’s the president I know. That’s the individual who’s Made America Great Again and who knows America’s best days are in front of us,” he concluded. “And that’s why I’m busting my tail to help him get re-elected. I’m asking you to do the same.”

9:17 p.m. Trump honors frontline workers from White House

Trump made his first “surprise” appearance at the RNC to honor frontline workers from the White House.

9:09 p.m. Ronna McDaniel: RNC will show how Trump’s policies have ‘uplifted Americans of all backgrounds’

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the convention would show how Trump’s policies have “uplifted Americans of all backgrounds and empowered them to reach their full potential in life.”

“Four years ago President Trump started a movement unlike any other, and over the next four days we will hear from a few of the millions of hardworking, everyday Americans who have benefited from his leadership,” she said.

“At stake in this election is far more than two competing governing philosophies – two very different visions are being presented for our future. Democrats have chosen to go down the road to socialism. We see it a different way, and this week we are going to show the American people a different way. President Trump and Republicans are fighting for the values that have defined our country from the beginning — liberty, justice, equality — and our convention is going to celebrate everything that makes America the greatest nation on Earth,” she continued.

8:59 p.m. Gaetz: ‘We didn’t start the fire. And weakness in the White House won’t stop it.’

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., opened his remarks with a slam on Joe Biden’s limited daily schedule before comparing the Democratic presidential nominee to Trump.

“I’m speaking from an auditorium emptier than Joe Biden’s Daily Schedule,” he said.

“We see the choice clearly: Strength or weakness. Energy or confusion. Success or failure,” Gaetz continued. “And Biden knows failure. His own defense secretary said, ‘Biden has been wrong on every major foreign policy and national security decision for nearly four decades.’ He believes in war without winning, war without end. President Trump doesn’t want us in distant deserts. He wants to fight to save America here and now.”

At the Democratic National Convention, Gaetz said the Democrats promised to stop the madness, “But we didn’t start the fire. And weakness in the White House won’t stop it.”

“So what do we do? How about not settling for violence in our neighborhoods or at our border? Not settling for second-best to cheating China? And not settling for another round of bad decisions by basement-dwelling Joe Biden?” Gaetz continued. “Americans don’t settle. We advance. We don’t live in basements. We explore the frontier, the horizon, and the stars.”

“America is not just an idea or a Constitution, it is our home,” he concluded. “We must protect our home with unbreakable Made-in-America Strength — strength I see every day in President Donald Trump.”

8:43 p.m. Charlie Kirk: ‘Trump is the bodyguard of western civilization’

Charlie Kirk, who runs the pro-American student organization Turning Point USA, said he was speaking in his personal capacity as a 26-year-old.

“I have a chance to view the state of our country as someone who sees the angst of young people and the challenges facing new parents forming families. I am here tonight to tell you — to warn you — that this election is a decision between preserving America as we know it, and eliminating everything that we love,” he said.

“We may not have realized it at the time, but this fact is now clear: Trump is the bodyguard of western civilization,” he continued. “Trump was elected to protect our families — our loved ones — from the vengeful mob that wishes to destroy our way of life, our neighborhoods, schools, church, and values. President Trump was elected to defend and strengthen the American way of life. The American way of life means you follow the law, you work hard, you honor God, you raise your kids with strong values, and you work to create a civil more stable country and life for the ones you love.”

Kirk went on to describe the 2020 election as the most important since 1850 when Abraham Lincoln was elected.

“This election is not just the most important of our lifetime — it is most important since the preservation of the Republic in 1865. By reelecting Trump, we will ensure that our kids are raised to love America, not taught to hate our beautiful country,” he said. “Young kids will get so excited about the founding of our country, parents will have to calm their kids down at the dinner table because they are fired up about the brilliance of Jefferson, the toughness of Teddy Roosevelt, the strategic insight of Patton, the perseverance of Lincoln, the humility of Washington, or the ingenuity of Benjamin Franklin.”

8:37 p.m. Ex-RNC Chair Michael Steele joins The Lincoln Project

Former RNC chair Michael Steele, who’s been an outspoken critic of President Trump, has joined the anti-Trump Republican group The Lincoln Project as a senior adviser.

Steele, the first Black RNC chair, served in the role from 2009-2011.

“The chair behind the Resolute Desk has always been bigger than any political party,” Steele said in a news release. “Sadly, we have witnessed its occupant devolve into preying upon fears and resentments with narcissism that nurtures only chaos and confusion. Leadership is needed now more than ever and I am proudly committed to resetting the course of our nation, standing once again for the future of my Party.”

— ABC News’ Will Steakin

8:30 p.m. Scott: Mail-in ballots in Florida work

Florida Sen. Rick Scott spoke with ABC News Live ahead of the RNC primetime programming Monday night.

He was asked about the president’s attacks on mail-in voting and whether they could undermine confidence and hurt Trump in states like Florida, where many seniors vote by mail.

“I hope not because we have mail-in ballots in Florida. It works,” Scott said.

8:25 p.m. Mary Bruce: RNC will have ‘very different feel’ and tone from the DNC

ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce compares the RNC to last week’s DNC.

“This convention is going to have a very different feel and a very different tone from what we saw last week with Democrats,” she said on ABC News Live.

8:19 p.m. Late change: Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle speeches pre-taped and not live

A late change from the RNC: Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who were slated to speak live, are instead on tape.

The RNC has worked to have more live elements than the Democrats at last week’s mostly virtual Democratic National Convention, and the president has made a point to say that live is better than tape, criticizing former first lady Michelle Obama for pre-taping her speech that aired a week ago.

8:17 p.m. Chris Christie: Trump campaign needs to be ‘more optimistic and less dire’ starting with Republican National Convention

Former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie told the hosts of ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast on Monday that he hopes that President Donald Trump lays out an agenda at the Republican National Convention because he believes that has been the biggest failing of the Trump campaign so far.

Christie said the Trump campaign cannot run the same way they did in 2016 and he hopes that changes this week, especially Thursday night when Trump is set to give his acceptance speech.

“And so they have to do it differently this time. It has to be more optimistic and less dire. It has to be one that talks about what they want to do and how they want to leave the country at the conclusion of their eight years in,” Christie told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein. “I think quite frankly, that the Trump campaign has not done well on either of those fronts. And I’m hoping that’s going to start to change this week, especially on Thursday night.”

— ABC News’ Terrance Smith

8:08 p.m. Democratic campaign launches ‘Republicans for Biden’ as Flake, former GOP lawmakers endorse him

On the first day of the RNC, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris picked up support from 27 former GOP members of Congress, including former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, an outspoken critic of the president before and after he retired from Congress in 2018. It’s the latest act of defiance from Republicans against the sitting president who represents their party.

Later in the day, Flake personally addressed his decision to vote for the first time in his life for the Democratic candidate in a firm address aimed at his fellow conservatives.

“After the turmoil of the past four years, we need a president who unifies rather than divides. We need a president who prefers teamwork to tribalism. We need a president who summons our better angels, not a president who appeals to our baser instincts. That’s why we need Joe Biden,” Flake said in live-streamed remarks straight to the camera.

Read more:

— ABC News’ Molly Nagle and John Verhovek

8:02 p.m. North Carolina to be a crucial battleground state in 2020

With the RNC kicking off in in North Carolina Monday morning, ABC News Chief Global Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz spoke to voters in the battleground state about what they think of the president’s performance.

“I was really expecting … our administration to take lead on this,” said Cassandra Brooks, on the Trump administrations coronavirus response.

Read more:

7:57 p.m. Former Trump staffer who penned tell-all book and sued the president, back working on Republican Convention

Cliff Sims, a former aide to President Donald Trump, who sued the president after writing a brutal tell-all book about his time in the Trump White House called “Team of Vipers”, is back on the Trump team, serving an important role overseeing speechwriting for the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Sims is not only supervising speech writing for the convention, but multiple sources tell ABC News he is also spearheading the efforts for remarks by the president’s children, including Donald Trump Jr. and Tiffany Trump.

Read more:

— ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Will Steakin and Terrance Smith

7:53 p.m. Where do we stand now that the DNC is over and the RNC begins?: ANALYSIS

What have we learned and where do we stand today, after the Democratic National Convention, on the day the Republican National Convention begins?

The first virtual convention turned out rather well, and from my vantage point was more compelling when you listened to the key speeches without applause lines written in and audience interruptions. Conventions really hadn’t changed much in the last 150 years, and maybe it was time to begin to update the model.

As we look forward to the GOP convention, let’s see if they can pull off the speeches in an equally compelling way without technical glitches and with limited audience reaction.

What is the strategic imperative for President Trump and the GOP’ at their convention? I would suggest it is not in bashing Biden, but in building up Trump’s approval rating.

Read more:

— ABC News Political Analyst Matthew Dowd

7:43 p.m. Scalise: Once past the pandemic, Trump will be in position to rebuild economy

The first night of the RNC is themed “Land of Promise” and ABC News’ Linsey Davis asked House Minority Whip Steve Scalise what promises he would be making to the American people who have filed for unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve got to get through this pandemic, but as we do, you’re going to see this president better positioned to rebuild that economy again,” Scalise said on ABC News Live Prime.

7:33 p.m. Pompeo to speak at RNC in unprecedented move critics call inappropriate

While he is overseas on an official trip, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo will address the Republican National Convention in his “personal” capacity, the State Department said Sunday, blurring the lines between the two in an unprecedented — and critics say inappropriate — way.

Pompeo will be the first sitting Secretary of State to deliver a speech to a party’s political convention in modern times, although he is not the first to play a public role.

Slated for Tuesday evening, his speech has already sparked a wave of backlash, with critiques that the top U.S. diplomat is supposed to represent all Americans and not play a role in party politics and that the speech violates department protocol, if not U.S. law.

“As secretary of state, I am obliged not to participate in any way, shape, fashion, or form in parochial, political debates. I have to take no sides in the matter,” Colin Powell said in 2004, skipping the Republican National Convention while serving under George W. Bush.

Powell, a Republican, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden in this year’s election.

Read more:

— ABC News’ Conor Finnegan

7:23 p.m. ABC News’ 2020 interactive election map

Who will win in November? See how the Electoral College could play out with ABC News’ 2020 interactive election map:

7:17 p.m. Trump steamrolls norms with White House convention speech, raising ethics concerns

President Donald Trump has set the stage for a norms-busting political event that has transformed the White House into a backdrop for his campaign, raising ethical questions as he steamrolls over precedent.

Kathleen Clark, an ethics lawyer and professor at Washington University Law School in St Louis, said in an interview with ABC News that the convention amounts to a “four-day extravaganza of unethical conduct.”

Read more:

— ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps and Ben Gittleson

7:10 p.m. RNC request for fireworks at Washington Monument on night of Trump’s acceptance speech approved

The National Park Service earlier Monday said it had approved a request from the RNC to hold a fireworks show at the Washington Monument on Thursday, the night Trump formally accepts his party’s nomination in a speech.

“The applicant is responsible for production of the event and all associated costs,” said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, National Park Service, in a statement announcing the approval. “Additionally, per policy, the National Park Service will recover from the RNC all costs incurred as a result of the activity, including NPS administrative costs for permit preparation and management of the event, and monitoring of the activity to ensure compliance with the conditions of the permit.”

The fireworks are slated to begin about 11:30 p.m., according to the permit application.

Other than marking the end of the GOP convention, the display would also come hours before thousands of people are expected for a civil rights march timed for the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

ABC News’ Stephanie Ebbs

7 p.m. Monday night’s speaker lineup:

The Trump campaign released its speakers list for the first night of the convention. Below is the order they’re expected to appear:

  • Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York
  • Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA
  • Rebecca Friedrichs, public school teacher
  • Tanya Weinreis, coffee shop owner
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
  • Kim Klacik, Republican candidate running for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’ 7th Congressional District seat in Maryland
  • RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
  • Amy Johnson Ford, nurse practitioner
  • Dr. G.E. Ghali, oral surgeon
  • Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio
  • Herschel Walker, former NFL athlete
  • Natalie Harp, advisory board member for the Trump campaign
  • Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones
  • Andrew Pollack, father to Meadow who was killed at the Parkland, Florida, massacre
  • Mark and Patricia McCloskey, St. Louis attorneys who pointed guns at protesters this summer
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle, senior adviser to the Trump campaign
  • Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.
  • Sean Parnell, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District
  • Maximo Alvarez, Cuban immigrant and businessman
  • Former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
  • Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son
  • Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
  • 1:50 p.m. Republicans nominate Trump to second term

    The Republican Party has officially renominated Trump for president with a total of 2,550 delegates — all of the delegates available.

    RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel took the stage to officially declare Trump and Pence as the Republican nominees for president and vice president.

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy then took a swipe at Biden, saying, “The difference between our convention and the DNC is that our nominees show up.”

    Biden and other speakers at last week’s Democratic National Convention did not travel to the host city of Milwaukee due to coronavirus concerns.

    The president will formally accept the nomination from the White House on Thursday night.

    12:45 p.m. Trumps makes first RNC appearance

    Just before Trump arrived at the Charlotte Convention Center, Florida State Sen. Joe Gruters, chairman of the Florida Republican Party, announced the state’s 122 votes for Trump. Though Trump was already well over the top when Florida announced its delegates, the RNC put up a graphic prepared for the moment when Trump secured the required number.

    Then Trump took the stage.

    After suggesting his supporters chant “12 more years” instead of “four more years,” the president declared the country’s economic recovery was in a “super V-shape” and fired off attacks against mail-in voting, claiming Democrats are “trying to steal the election from the Republicans” by expanding access to mail-in ballots, which millions of Americans are relying on amid the pandemic.

    “This is the greatest scam in the history of politics, I think, and I’m talking about beyond our nation. They act like they are aggrieved by saying this, saying such a horrible thing, we are not patriotic by saying this. No,” Trump said. “We voted during World War I. We voted at the voting booth during World War II. The pandemic we are doing very well — and people know how to handle it — look at the crowds. They are doing very well. It’s very safe.”

    Trump’s accusations came while Democratic lawmakers back in Washington grilled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over controversial operational changes to the Postal Service which Democrats argue were designed to slow the mail and help him win reelection.

    “What they’re doing is using COVID to steal an election. They’re using COVID to defraud the American people — all of our people — of a fair and free election,” Trump claimed. “We can’t do that. Don’t let them give you the post office stuff.”

    The president also said that “China will own our country” if Biden is elected, before repeating a familiar claim that he has done for the Black community than anyone.

    “Nobody has done more for the historically Black colleges and universities than Donald Trump. Nobody, nobody has done more for the African-American community,” Trump said, with the exception of President Abraham Lincoln, he added.

    Notably, Trump’s political opponent Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president, is the first HBCU graduate to be nominated for national office by a major political party.

    Before he concluded his remarks, Trump again hinted that Democrats will take the election away — the same claim Democrats make about Republicans.

    “This is the most important election in the history of our country. Don’t let them take it away from you,” he said.

    12:15 p.m. Republicans reach threshold to renominate Trump for president

    After Pence wrapped his remarks, the roll call vote continued with Nevada, whose 25 delegates technically put Trump over the top to have enough votes to once again secure the nomination.

    Florida, Trump’s adopted home state, was the only state moved out of alphabetical order, which would have allowed for the state to put Trump over the top — but it was Nevada’s delegate on the screen when Trump surpassed the 1,276 delegate threshold to win the nomination.

    With Nevada, 1,284 delegates have renominated Trump as the party’s nominee, surpassing the 1,276 delegate threshold to win the nomination, based on an ABC News analysis of the delegate count.

    Despite Florida not being seen at the microphone to announce the state’s 122 delegates, nor the secretary officially announcing a record of the votes, those votes were included in the RNC’s delegate tally.

    The president is expected to speak briefly in Charlotte but will formally accept the nomination on Thursday night, when he delivers his speech from the White House South Lawn.

    11:48 a.m. Trump touches down in Charlotte, Pence takes the stage

    As Trump touched down in Charlotte, Vice President Mike Pence took the stage in the convention center to deliver remarks.

    “It is a joy to be with you at the 2020 Republican National Convention here in North Carolina,” Pence said. “I heard there a unanimous vote a little bit earlier, and I’ll have more to say that at Fort McHenry on Wednesday night.”

    Pence also teased Trump’s incoming appearance, saying, “You might just see a friend of mine at the Republican National Convention today because we wanted to say ‘thank you.'”

    Pence’s speech was primarily a call to action to vote in November to preserve conservative values.

    “This movement led our nation back in 2016. And I just know each and every one of you, we’re going to do your part this year to reelect this president and reelected Republicans with strong sound conservative principles every day,” he said.

    11 a.m. Roll call vote to renominate Trump underway

    The convention has begun a state-by-state roll call vote on the renomination of the president.

    After tests and temperature checks, 336 delegates representing 50 states, five territories and Washington, D.C., are participating in the process from inside the ballroom of the Charlotte Convention Center. They have been asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.

    Trump was nominated by Michael Whatley, the chairman of the North Carolina GOP, and Florida State Sen. Joe Gruters, the chairman of the Florida Republican Party.

    Mike Lindell, founder and CEO of My Pillow who recently said he met with Trump in the White House in July and discussed an unproven COVID-19 therapeutic, cast Minnesota’s delegates for Trump in the roll call.

    Trump and Pence are scheduled to land in Charlotte around the time delegates plan to announce the results of their vote and are expected to make an appearance at the convention.

    10:14 a.m. Republicans renominate Pence for VP

    Delegates renominate Pence with a unanimous vote Monday morning ahead of their roll call vote on Trump.

    Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker delivered a brief speech making the nomination.

    The unanimous voice vote received a standing ovation from RNC delegates.

    8 a.m. GOP forgoes party platform, to ‘enthusiastically support’ Trump agenda

    The Republican National Committee will go without a traditional policy platform at the GOP convention, saying it will instead “continue to enthusiastically support the president’s America-first agenda.”

    In a statement issued Sunday, the RNC said it adopted a resolution Saturday to go without a platform citing difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “The RNC has unanimously voted to forego the Convention Committee on Platform, in appreciation of the fact that it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement,” the RNC said.

    The decision is roiling some Republicans who argue that the old platform is outdated and not reflective of the current views of the president or the party. Four years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, the party adopted a strict, conservative platform around issues of gender and sexual orientation against the efforts by some of the party’s more moderate faction to soften the language.

    The announcement also follows a vote in June, where the committee decided to adopt the 2016 platform for November’s presidential election.

    Convention speakers:

    Those scheduled to speak on the first night include:

  • Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
  • House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
  • Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio
  • Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations
  • Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
  • Democratic Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones
  • Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle, national chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee
  • Mark and Patricia McCloskey, St. Louis couple that went viral after waving their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters
  • Donald Trump, Jr., eldest son of the president
  • As previously reported by ABC News, Trump is expected to be a part of the programming for each night of the convention.

    ABC News’ Kendall Karson, Terrance Smith, Rachel Scott, Will Steakin and Elizabeth Thomas contributed to this report.

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