A scaled-down, in-person Republican National Convention kicks off with a few hundred delegates in Charlotte, NC.
- Earlier on Monday the Republican Party formally nominated US President Donald Trump to run for a second term in the White House before the first night of the Republican National Convention (RNC). They also nominated Vice President Mike Pence to run again.
- Just 336 delegates gathered in a convention centre for a roll call to nominate Trump as the party’s candidate to take on Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
- Minutes after the votes passed the threshold that confirmed Trump as the candidate, the president made a surprise appearance, walking on stage to chants of “Four more years, four more years”.
- Trump hailed November’s vote as the “most important election in our history” while touting the country’s economic strength before the coronavirus pandemic, which he referred to as the “plague that came from China”.
These are the latest updates:
03:00 GMT – Closing speaker: ‘not where we used to be’
Tim Scott, the only Black Republican Senator was the closing speaker at the Republican National Convention on Monday night. He recounted growing up in a single-parent household and failing out of ninth grade before finding a mentor and becoming a small-business owner.
He said any insinuation that the US has gone backwards is false, saying the country is not “fully where we want to be” but, “I thank God almighty we are not where we used to be.”
02:45 GMT – Donald Trump Jr defends his father
Donald Trump Jr, the president’s eldest son, credited his father for “the greatest prolonged recovery in American history” and “the lowest unemployment rate” in a half-century.
He then argued that the coronavirus pandemic struck, “courtesy of the Chinese Communist Party.”
The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 5.7 million Americans and killed 177,248 leading the world in both.
02:20 GMT – Nikki Haley: ‘America is not a racist country’
Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the United Nations, addressed racism in the US in a lengthy speech, saying: “In much of the Democratic Party, it’s now fashionable to say that America is racist … America is not a racist country.”
She said her parents, immigrants from India who settled in the US South “faced discrimination and hardship,” but “never gave in to grievance and hate.”
Reflecting on her experience with the UN, Haley said Biden was “good for Iran and ISIS, great for Communist China … a godsend to everyone who wants America to apologise, abstain and abandon our values. Donald Trump takes a different approach. He’s tough on China, and he took on ISIS and won.”
She also brought up North Korea, saying the Obama administration “let North Korea threaten America,” but “President Trump rejected that weakness, and we passed the toughest sanctions on North Korea in history.”
02:00 GMT – Father of shooting victim speaks in favour of Trump
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, spoke, crediting Trump for forming a school safety commission that issued dozens of recommendations designed to make schools safer.
“Gun control laws didn’t fail my daughter. People did,” Pollack said, blaming Obama-era policies on school discipline and Parkland officials’ failure to respond to warnings that the gunman was dangerous before the shooting, which killed 17 people.
Pollack blamed the school for ignoring warning signs and “far-left Democrats” for a policy designed to reduce school suspensions that he said blames teachers for student failures. “I was just fine with the old approach to discipline and safety – it was called discipline and safety,” he said, “but the Obama-Biden administration took Parkland’s bad policies and forced them into schools across America.”
Read more here.
01:45 GMT – Gun-brandishing couple speaks
Mark and Patricia McCloskey – the St Louis couple who were charged for waving guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in the summer spoke in a pre-recorded message.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 29, 2020
Prosecutors last month charged the couple with felony unlawful use of a weapon for displaying guns during a Black Lives Matter protest outside their mansion.
“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,” Mark McCloskey said.
01:40 GMT – Democratic state legislator crosses party line
Vernon Jones, a Black Democratic state representative from Georgia, appeared at the Republican National Convention and accused his party of taking Black voters for granted.
“The Democratic Party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation,” Mr Jones said, according to prepared remarks. “We’ve been forced to be there for decades and generations.”
01:35 GMT – Nikki Haley and Trump’s son scheduled to speak
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is scheduled to speak on the opening night. The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, and his partner, Kimberly Guilfoyle are also expected to speak.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey – the St Louis couple who were charged for waving guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in the summer will also make an appearance.
01:30 GMT – Trending on Twitter
The Republican National Convention hashtag #RNC2020 was trending on Twitter, Trump’s preferred social media outlet.
01:00 GMT – Trump to appear at RNC with 6 former hostages
Trump will appear at the opening night of the Republican National Convention in a taped video with six former hostages freed during his administration.
Michael White, Sam Goodwin, Pastor Andrew Brunson, Joshua and Tamara Holt, and Pastor Bryan Nerren are among more than a dozen religious or other people whose release the Trump administration helped broker. The convention is also set to feature a speech from the parents of Kayla Mueller, who died while a prisoner of the ISIL (ISIS) group.
01:00 GMT – ‘The bodyguard of Western civilization’
Charlie Kirk, president of the pro-Trump organisation Turning Point USA called the president “the bodyguard of Western civilisation”.
“We may not have realized it at the time, but this fact is now clear: Trump is the bodyguard of Western civilisation,” and added that Trump was “elected to defend and strengthen the American way of life.”
00:10 GMT – Republican party chairwoman doubles down on Trump tweet
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, embraced Trump’s “suburban housewife” tweet, describing herself as a proud “housewife” and “mom” who had risen to the top of the Republican Party on merit.
The “suburban housewife” will be voting for me. They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood. Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge! @foxandfriends @MariaBartiromo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2020
She then took a swipe at Kamala Harris, the first woman of colour to appear on a major party’s ticket.
“Unlike Joe Biden, President Trump didn’t choose me because I’m a woman – he chose me because I was the best person for the job,” she said.
00:30 GMT – Day 1 kicks off
The first day of the Republican National convention begins.
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) August 25, 2020
23:30 GMT – Fireworks to mark Trump acceptance of nomination
Republicans will have about 8,000 Roman candles, shells, comets and other fireworks ready to shoot into the sky around the Washington Monument on Thursday to celebrate Trump’s acceptance of the presidential nomination.
The National Park Service said it has approved the fireworks permit to mark the renomination of the president.
23:00 GMT – Latest batch of Republicans disavow Trump on first day of RNC
Twenty-seven former Republican members of Congress have endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president on the first day of the Republican National Convention as part of a “Republicans for Biden” initiative – in the latest rebuke of Trump by members of his own party.
They cited Trump’s “corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency, and urgent need to get the country back on course” as reasons for their decision, according to a Biden campaign statement. Last week, 73 former Republican national security officials, including former chiefs of the FBI and CIA, endorsed Biden while calling Trump corrupt and unfit to serve.
Read more on that story here.