Republicans kick-off first night of scaled-down convention: Live news |

  • The Republican Party has formally nominated United States President Donald Trump for a second term in the White House at the start of the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC). They also nominated Vice President Mike Pence for a second term.
  • Just 336 delegates gathered in a convention centre in the city 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 officially cemented 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:

01:40 GMT – Democratic state legistlator 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.”

Nikki Haley AP

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley is scheduled to speak on the opening night [AP Photo]

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.

Read more here and here

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 Nerran 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 Islamic State group.

Republican National Covention

US President Donald Trump standing with essential workers and speaking by video feed during the Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, US [2020 Republican National Convention/Handout via Reuters] 

01:00 GMT – ‘The bodyguard of Western civilization’

Charlie Kirk the president of the pro-Trump organisation Turning Point USA called the president “the bodyguard of Western civilization.”

“We may not have realized it at the time, but this fact is now clear: Trump is the bodyguard of Western civilization,” and added that Trump was “elected to defend and strengthen the American way of life.”

00:10 GMT – Republican party chairwoman double downs on Trump tweet

Ronna McDaniel, the 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.

“I’m actually a real housewife and a mom from Michigan with two wonderful kids in public school who happens to be only the second woman in 164 years to run the Republican Party,” said McDaniel.

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.

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.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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