Melania Trump wraps Republican convention’s second day: Live news

Mike Pompeo, Melania Trump, and two of the president’s children spoke on the second night of the RNC.

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US President Donald Trump speaking on the first day of the Republican National Convention [Leah Millis/Reuters]
  • The Republican National Convention’s second night blended live in-person speeches with pre-recorded segments.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke from Jerusalem about how Trump’s “America First” foreign policy has made the world safer, with a focus on Trump’s support for Israel.
  • First Lady Melania Trump, whose convention speech four years ago borrowed from Michelle Obama, spoke from the newly-renovated White House Rose Garden.
  • Tiffany Trump and Eric Trump, two of the president’s children also made appearances.

There are the latest updates:

02:45 GMT – First Lady closes the evening from the Rose Garden

Melania Trump delivered the final speech of the second night of the Republican National Convention.

It was a rare political appearance for the first lady, urging support for her husband’s re-election.

She also addressed the coronavirus pandemic – a topic that has largely gone unmentioned during the convention.

“I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed dramatically,” she said, adding that the Trump administration would continue to work towards developing a vaccine.

“Donald will not rest,” she said, until there is a cure.

First Lady Melania Trump delivering a live address from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

02:40 GMT – Pompeo speaks from Jerusalem

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supported Trump’s re-election in a speech recorded in Jerusalem during an official visit to the Middle East.

“The president moved the US embassy to this very city of God, Jerusalem, the rightful capital of the Jewish homeland,” he said.

The address was roundly condemned by Democrats and others as an inappropriate breach of decades of diplomatic precedent and a possible violation of federal law prohibiting executive branch employees from overt political activism while on duty. Pompeo himself had reminded State Department staffers of those restrictions only last month.

Read more here.

02:20 GMT – Trump hosts naturalisation ceremony

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf witnessed the naturalisation oath to five people as Trump looked on.

Afterwards, Trump welcomed the five into the “great American family” and congratulated them, saying, “Great going.”

“You followed the rules, you obeyed the laws, you learned your history, embraced our values and proved yourselves to be men and women of the highest integrity,” he said.

The five new US citizens are from Bolivia, Lebanon, India, Sudan and Ghana.

US President Donald Trump holds a Naturalization Certificate while posing with a new naturalised US citizen [2020 Republican National Convention/Handout via Reuters]

02:15 GMT – Trump’s youngest daughter defends her father

Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany said her father is willing to put the country’s needs above his own.

“Fighting for America is something he will sacrifice anything for,” she said. “He dreams big dreams for our country – and he is relentless at achieving them.”

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Tiffany Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, delivering a pre-recorded speech [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

She also criticised the media, claiming without evidence that journalists deliberately manipulate information.

“Rather than allowing Americans the right to form our own beliefs, this misinformation system keeps people mentally enslaved to the ideas they deem correct,” she said. “This has fostered unnecessary fear and divisiveness amongst us.”

02:00 GMT – Mike Pence stars in pre-recorded video

Vice President Mike Pence starred in a video featuring the stories of six Americans whose lives have been helped by the Trump administration.

The nine-minute video, titled, Lincoln, was filmed last week at President Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home in Lincoln City, Indiana. Pence delivered a tribute to Lincoln, the first Republican president, before holding casual conversations with everyday Americans.

01:35 GMT – High schooler says US must unite around Trump

A teenager known for a video of his interaction with a Native American man during duelling demonstrations at the Lincoln Memorial says the country must unite around a president “who calls the media out”.

Nicholas Sandmann was among a group of students participating in an anti-abortion march in Washington in January 2019. Footage of his interaction with Nathan Phillips, who was participating in a separate demonstration supporting Native American rights, spread widely online.

Nicholas Sandmann
Nicholas Sandmann putting on a Make America Great Again hat while he speaks by video feed during the 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, US [2020 Republican National Convention/Handout via Reuters]

“My life changed forever in that one moment. The full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode,” he said. “And do you know why? Because the truth wasn’t important. Advancing their anti-Christian, anti-Conservative, anti-Donald Trump narrative was all that mattered.”

Sandmann later settled lawsuits against CNN and other media outlets.

Read more here.

01:30 GMT – Dairy farmer thanks Trump

A Wisconsin dairy farmer thanked Trump for his support, claiming dairy farming is “roaring back”.

Cris Peterson said Trump helped struggling dairy farmers, socked by low milk prices in 2016, in part by “negotiating new trade deals.”

“By the end of 2018, we had a new state-of-the-art robotic milking facility that allows our cows to milk themselves three times a day,” she said, “at about the same time, President Trump’s economic boom began helping dairy farmers across the nation.”

01:20 GMT – Anti-abortion activist makes plea

Abby Johnson previously worked for Planned Parenthood, but became a vocal abortion opponent after she says she witnessed an abortion of a woman who was 13 weeks pregnant.

“For me, abortion’s real. I know what it sounds like; what it smells like. I’ve been the perpetrator … to these babies … to these women,” she said.

“I support President Trump because he’s done more for the unborn than any other president.”

She founded a non-profit organisation that lobbies abortion clinics employees to leave their jobs, and wrote a book on her experiences. A movie based around her life story was released last year.

01:15 GMT – ‘A strong American cannot fight endless wars’

Senator Rand Paul said Trump opposed “endless wars” waged by the US, saying that the president had made good on his promise to end wars, particularly in the Middle East.

“I’m supporting President Trump because he believes as I do that a strong America cannot fight endless wars,” Paul said.

“We must not continue to leave our blood and treasure in Middle East quagmires.”

He then went on to claim that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who had supported the Iraq War and other recent US interventions, would “choose war again”.

01:00 GMT – Lobsterman credits Trump for giving ‘voice’ to fishing farmers

A lobsterman, Jason Joyce, said he had not voted for Trump in 2016, in part because he was unsure whether the Republican candidate was conservative enough.

“I have to confess: I didn’t support Trump in 2016. Sceptical that he shared my conservative views, I expected him to flip flop on his campaign promises. But he has followed through on his promises.”

“As long as Trump is president, fishing families like mine will have a voice.”

00:55 GMT – Vice president of Navajo Nation praises Trump

Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation, said President Trump had “made it a priority to repair the relationship” between the Navajo and the federal government.

“Our people have never been invited into the American dream,” Lizer said. “We’ve for years fought congressional battles with past congressmen and senators that were part of a broken system that ignored us. That is, until President Trump took office.”

00:50 GMT – Trump pardons bank robber

Trump has signed a document that fully pardons Jon Ponder, a Black man who was convicted of bank robbery. Trump called it a “beautiful testament to the power of redemption”. Ponder now leads a programme in Las Vegas that helps former prisoners re-enter society, called Hope for Prisoners.

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US President Donald Trump, next to Jon Ponder and his wife, and former FBI agent Richard Beasley, after signing Jon Ponder’s pardon [Reuters]

00:45 GMT – Speaker pulled after anti-semitic remarks

A speaker who had been scheduled to address the second night of the Republican National Convention has been pulled from the lineup after she directed her Twitter followers to a series of anti-Semitic, conspiratorial messages.

Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh says, “We have removed the scheduled video from the convention lineup and it will no longer run this week.”

Mary Ann Mendoza had been scheduled to highlight the president’s fight against undocumented migration. Mendoza’s son was killed in 2014 in a head-on collision with a man who was driving while under the influence and turned out to be undocumented.

00:40 GMT – Anti-abortion activist to speak

An anti-abortion activist scheduled to speak during the Republican National Convention previously advocated for something called “household voting”, saying wives should defer to their husbands on making decisions related to politics.

In May, Abby Johnson wrote on Twitter that she “would support bringing back household voting”, later explaining that, if spouses were to disagree, “Then, they would have to decide on one vote. In a Godly household, the husband would get the final say.”

00:30 GMT – Second night kicks off 

The people closest to President Donald Trump – his family – are starring on the second night of the Republican National Convention.

First Lady Melania Trump is delivering Tuesday evening’s keynote address at the White House, while the president’s daughter Tiffany and son Eric will be featured, too.

00:10 GMT – Trump to highlight bank robber’s pardon at RNC

President Donald Trump is highlighting the pardon of a Nevada man convicted of bank robbery as part of the second day of programming at the Republican National Convention.

In a video expected to air on Tuesday night, Trump says that the story of Jon Ponder is a “beautiful testament to the power of redemption”. Ponder now leads a programme in Las Vegas called Hope for Prisoners that helps convicts who’ve served their sentences re-enter society.

22:15 GMT – Ratings fall short

Television viewership on the first night of the Republican National Convention fell short of the Democrats’ first night last week, according to Nielsen ratings.

About 15.8 million people watched the Republicans live on Monday night between 10 and 11pm (02:00-03:00GMT), down from roughly 19 million who tuned in for last Monday’s speeches by Senator Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama. Almost half of that audience watched on Fox News, which brought in 7.1 million viewers – by far the biggest audience of the night.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to speak to the convention on Tuesday evening in a video recorded from Jerusalem [Debbie Hill/Pool via Reuters]

22:00 GMT – Democratic legislators to probe Pompeo speech

The chairman of a Democratic-led US House of Representatives sub-committee has announced an investigation into whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s appearance at the Republican National Convention breaks federal law and regulations.

“The Trump administration and Secretary Pompeo have shown a gross disregard not only of basic ethics, but also a blatant willingness to violate federal law for political gain,” Joaquin Castro, head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s oversight sub-committee, said in a statement.

Pompeo, who is travelling overseas, was to speak to the convention on Tuesday evening in a video recorded during a stop in Jerusalem, an appearance that has ignited an outcry by some former senior diplomats because it appears to break long-standing rules that bar senior political appointees from partisan political activities, including attending party conventions.

Catch updates from Monday night’s convention here.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies