Election Live Updates: Donald Trump formally accepts GOP nomination on final night of RNC

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Friday, August 28, 2020
Vote 2020: Trump headlines final night of RNC
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President Donald Trump stood on the South Lawn Thursday night to accept his party's nomination for president, presenting himself as the last barrier protecting an American way of life under siege from radical forces.

With a confluence of crisis looming beyond the White House gates, President Donald Trump stood on the South Lawn Thursday night to accept his party's nomination for president, presenting himself as the last barrier protecting an American way of life under siege from radical forces.

Facing a fraught national moment, Trump painted an optimistic vision of America's future, including an eventual triumph over the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 175,000 people, left millions unemployed and rewritten the rules of society. But that brighter horizon could only be secured, Trump asserted, if he defeated Joe Biden, against whom he unleashed blistering attacks meant to erase the Democrat's stubborn lead in the polls.

The overall theme of the convention, "Honoring the Great American Story," highlighted "the promise and greatness of America" and Trump's "leadership and what he has planned for the future."

Each night will also have a sub-theme; on Thursday the theme was "Land of Greatness."

Speakers on Wednesday:

President Donald J. Trump

The Honorable Ben Carson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)

Representative Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02)

The Honorable Ivanka Trump

The Honorable Ja'Ron Smith

Ann Dorn

Debbie Flood

Rudy Giuliani

Franklin Graham

Alice Johnson

Wade Mayfield

Carl and Marsha Mueller

Dana White

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Trump remember slain NYPD Det. Miosotis Familia

President Donald Trump paid tribute to slain NYPD Det. Miosotis Familia during his RNC speech.

"She recently asked for the night shift so she could spend more time with her kids," Trump said. "Two years ago, I stood in front of the U.S. Capitol alongside those beautiful children and held their grandmother's hand as they mourned their terrible loss and we honored detective Familia's extraordinary life."

Her three children were there for the speech.

President Donald Trump recognized slain NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia in his 2020 Republican convention speech. Her children watched the speech from the White House's South Lawn.

Trump says Biden not 'savior of America's soul'

President Donald Trump says former Vice President Joe Biden "is not the savior of America's soul," and "if given the chance, he will be the destroyer of American greatness."

Trump said during Thursday's closing night of the Republican National Convention that Americans "don't look to career politicians for salvation" but instead "put our faith in Almighty God."

In June, Trump said "I hope it's true" when asked about an evangelical claim that he had been appointed by God. Last August, Trump declared himself "the chosen one," but later said he was joking.

Evangelical Christians are among Trump's staunchest supporters.

Watch President Donald Trump's speech at the White House for the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Ivanka Trump says dad called out DC's hypocrisy

Ivanka Trump says Washington hates her father because he has called out its hypocrisy.

Instead of letting Washington change him, she says President Donald Trump changed Washington, and she says the U.S. needs four more years of leadership from the "warrior" in the White House.

Introducing her father on the Republican National Convention's final night, Ivanka Trump also took a swipe at Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, whom she calls "another empty vessel who will do whatever the media and the fringe of his party demands."

Senior adviser Ivanka Trump says her father doesn't surrender his beliefs to score points with the political elite. She says the working men and woman of America are the only elites he cares about scoring points with.

She says she loves him for "being real" and respects him for "being effective."

Ivanka Trump's full speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Alice Johnson speaks on Trump's criminal justice reform

A woman whose drug crime sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump says his reforms in criminal justice are "just getting started."

Alice Johnson said Thursday during the Republican National Convention that she "hollered hallelujah" after Trump signed the First Step Act, which she said "brought joy, hope and freedom to thousands of well-deserving people."

Johnson is a Tennessee grandmother convicted on felony drug and money laundering charges in 1996. After 22 years in prison, she was released in June 2018 when Kim Kardashian West asked Trump to grant her clemency.

Since then, her story was featured in a reelection ad for the president, and she recommended a list of other nonviolent female offenders, whose sentences Trump commuted. On Thursday, Johnson said she is free "by the grace of God and the compassion of President Donald John Trump."

Alice Johnson, a woman whose drug crime sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump, says his reforms in criminal justice are "just getting started" at the 2020 RNC.

Giuliani doesn't mention Ukraine in RNC speech

Rudy Giuliani is painting a grim portrait of violence in America as he endorses President Donald Trump's reelection bid at the Republican convention.

The former New York mayor said in his speech Thursday that a vote for Democrat Joe Biden is a vote for "soft on crime" policies and risks a continuation of the "wave of lawlessness" that he says is ravaging the country. He says the riots in American cities give "you a good view" of what life would be like in a Biden administration, though the current violence is happening during Trump's administration.

He says Trump is the one candidate who can be trusted to preserve the American way of life.

He made no mention of the Russia investigation, in which he defended Trump, or his role in trying to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine. The saga ended up with Trump getting impeached by the Democratic-led House, but he was acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and a Trump legal adviser, addresses law-and-order issues on night four of the Republican National Convention.

Police union boss praises Trump for backing cops

The head of New York City's Police Benevolent Association is praising President Donald Trump for his staunch support of law enforcement around the country.

Pat Lynch said Thursday at the Republican National Convention that there is "no other choice" than the Republican incumbent when it comes to the safety of all Americans.

Lynch accuses Democratic politicians of walking away from police by cutting their budgets and passing laws that he says are making it hard for officers to do their jobs effectively.

Pat Lynch, the president of New York City's largest police union, speaks on night four of the Republican National Convention.

Carson offers sympathy to Blake's family at RNC

Housing Secretary Ben Carson is offering sympathies to the family of Jacob Blake, the Kenosha, Wisconsin, man whose shooting by police has sparked deadly violence.

Carson, the highest-ranking Black member of President Donald Trump's administration, is the first Republican National Convention speaker Thursday to discuss Blake's shooting.

Trump refused earlier Thursday to answer questions about the shooting.

Carson says his sympathies also extend to other families that have been affected by the "tragic events" in the Milwaukee suburb.

Authorities say Blake was shot in the back by police responding to a domestic dispute. The 29-year-old Black father of six is paralyzed from the waist down.

A 17-year-old from Illinois is charged in the fatal shooting of two protesters and the wounding of a third in Kenosha during unrest that followed Blake's shooting.

Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, speaks on night four of the Republican National Convention.

At RNC, widow details deadly street violence

The widow of a retired St. Louis police captain shot to death after a violent night of protests says President Donald Trump is bolstering law enforcement agencies and using federal resources to "restore order in our communities."

During emotional remarks at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Ann Marie Dorn said that she relives the "horror" of her husband's death daily.

In detail, she described the night that 77-year-old David Dorn was fatally shot outside a pawn shop June 2 amid violence following the death of George Floyd.

Saying "violence and destruction are not legitimate forms of protest," Dorn said she hopes that her pain will "help shake this country from the nightmare we are witnessing in our cities and bring about positive, peaceful change."

Soon after the shooting, Trump wrote on Twitter Dorn was "viciously shot and killed by despicable looters last night. We honor our police officers, perhaps more than ever before."

Two men have been charged in Dorn's death.

During emotional remarks at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Ann Marie Dorn said that she relives the "horror" of her husband's death daily.

UFC head supports Trump

The head of the Ultimate Fighting Championship says President Donald Trump's continued leadership is needed as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

Dana White said during the Republican National Convention on Thursday night that Trump can revamp the economy that has struggled to get back on track during the nation's response.

White argued that Trump's immediate focus on involving business and industries in pandemic response, as well as bringing back sporting events safely, has helped people feel as normal as possible.

More than 180,000 people in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus, by far the worst in the world.

White has served on a business leaders task force helping advise Trump on revamping the economy amid the pandemic. Earlier this year, he was among the sports leaders on a call earlier this year discussing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. On the call, Trump said he was looking forward to the resumption of competitions "as soon as we can."

Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, speaks on night four of the Republican National Convention.

McConnell paints dystopian picture of Dems' US

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is painting a dystopian picture of what America would look like with Democrats in charge as he looks to keep control of the Senate.

The Kentucky Republican said Thursday at the Republican National Convention that "today's Democrat Party doesn't want to improve life for middle America." He says, "They prefer that all of us in flyover country keep quiet and let them decide how we should live our lives."

He adds: "They want to tell you what kind of car you can drive. What sources of information are credible. And even how many hamburgers you can eat."

The comment propagates a falsehood that Democratic proponents of the Green New Deal, which seeks to radically overhaul the U.S. economy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, would limit beef consumption.

None of the proponents of the Green New Deal have suggested outlawing beef consumption or seizing pickup trucks.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, speaks on night four of the Republican National Convention.

NJ congressman switches from Democrat to Republican

A New Jersey congressman who switched from Democrat to Republican says he deserted his former party when it "moved from liberal to radical."

Rep. Jeff Van Drew claimed at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night that Democratic nominee Joe Biden isn't in control of his own candidacy and "is being told what to do by the radicals running my former party."

Van Drew broke with his party and voted against impeaching President Donald Trump - a move that bolstered GOP attempts to depict Democrats as divided on the matter. Last year, he switched parties to become a Republican in the November election, promising Trump his "undying support."

Trump, reveling in the decision, promised to return the favor and announced that he is endorsing Van Drew for reelection, calling him "a tremendous asset for the party."

Van Drew's remarks came after a video montage of comments from voters who identified themselves as coming from across the political spectrum but having become Trump supporters.

Former Democrat Rep. Jeff Van Drew, of New Jersey, speaks on night four of the Republican National Convention.

Black White House assistant vouches for Trump

The highest-ranking Black staffer in the White House says he's seen President Donald Trump's "true conscience" in the aftermath of recent high-profile killings of Black men and boys.

Ja'Ron Smith says in a Republican National Convention speech Thursday that he wishes everyone else could see the "deep empathy" Trump shows families whose loved ones were taken by senseless violence.

Smith specifically named Ahmaud Arbery of Georgia, George Floyd of Minneapolis and 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro of Kansas City.

An assistant to the president for domestic policy, Smith helped craft an executive order that Trump recently issued to address changes to policing that have been demanded in the wake of Floyd's killing in May by a white Minneapolis police officer.

Smith says issues important to Black communities are priorities for Trump.

Ja'Ron Smith, an adviser to President Trump on domestic policy, discusses the president's work on education and criminal justice reform on night four of the Republican National Convention.

Black National Convention puts spotlight on police brutality

Black Lives Matter activists are holding their first Black National Convention Friday, a virtual event that will adopt a political agenda calling for slavery reparations, universal basic income, environmental justice and legislation that entirely re-imagines criminal justice reform.

The gathering follows Democratic and Republican party conventions that laid out starkly different visions for America. It also comes on the heels of yet another shooting by a white police officer of a Black man - 29-year-old Jacob Blake - in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that sparked days of protests, unrest and violence.

And it comes on the same day as a commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, where the families of an ever-growing list of police and vigilante violence victims will appear with civil rights leaders.

Friday's live-stream broadcast will include policy proposals on such issues as voter suppression, reproductive rights, inequality in public education, housing insecurity and inter-communal violence, according to its agenda, shared exclusively with The Associated Press.

Trump may reveal purchases of rapid $5 coronavirus test that doesn't need specialty equipment

President Donald Trump is set to reveal that the federal government is purchasing 150 million new COVID-19 test kits, with the announcement potentially featuring in his speech to the Republican National Convention.

A White House official says Trump on Thursday is to announce the purchase of a newly approved $5 rapid test for the coronavirus produced by Abbott Laboratories. The test received emergency use authorization from the FDA this week. The company says it will be able to produce about 50 million of them per month, beginning in September.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the president's speech.

Protesters look to drown out Trump's RNC speech

A group of activists hopes to drown out President Donald Trump's speech as he accepts the Republican Party nomination at the White House.

Trump is set to speak Thursday night from the South Lawn. As he does, a local band will be blaring Go-Go music, a distinctive D.C. variant on funk.

The popular local band TOB will perform one block from the White House, with the goal of disrupting Trump's speech.

A longtime D.C. trademark, Go-Go music emerged last year as a battle anthem for activists fighting fast-moving gentrification in the nation's capital. The music has been a regular presence in this summer's protests against racial injustice, and rolling Go-Go trucks with live bands have appeared frequently at the epicenter of the protests, which was renamed by the city as Black Lives Matter Plaza.

GOP endorsements of Biden

More than 300 alumni of the most recent Republican administration and presidential campaigns are collectively endorsing Democratic nominee Joe Biden on the day that Republican President Donald Trump accepts his party's nomination for a second term.

Biden's campaign released three separate joint statements from the political orbits of former President George W. Bush, 2012 nominee and now-U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney and 2008 nominee John McCain, who died in 2018.

The list of signatories range from rank-and-file campaign aides for all three men to some sub-Cabinet appointees in the Bush administration. The show of bipartisan force seeks to bolster Biden's argument that Trump presents a fundamental threat to the nation that transcends party loyalties.

Neither Bush nor Romney has said how he will vote in November, but both are notably absent from Trump's convention. Former presidents and recent nominees typically have prime convention slots.

Romney cast the lone GOP Senate vote to convict Trump and remove him from office for pressuring Ukraine's government to help him tarnish Biden. Bush has been on the fundraising circuit for down-ballot Republican candidates this year.

Before McCain's death, the Arizona senator cast the deciding vote against Trump's push to repeal the 2010 health care law. His widow, Cindy McCain, was featured during Biden's nominating convention last week as part of a video highlighting the senator's friendship with the former vice president.

Pelosi on presidential debates

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she doesn't think there should be presidential debates this year, arguing Democrat Joe Biden shouldn't "legitimize a conversation" with President Donald Trump.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday she knows she disagrees with Biden on the issue but she believes Trump will "probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency" and "belittle what the debates are supposed to be about." Biden has said he is eager to take on Trump in three debates this fall.

Pelosi says a 2016 debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton was "disgraceful" as Trump stood close behind Clinton as she spoke, moving into her camera angle. Pelosi says Trump was "stalking" Clinton and should have been told to move away.

Instead, Pelosi suggests the two candidates have individual events where they take questions. She says, "Let that be a conversation with the American people. Not an exercise in skullduggery."

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates recently rejected a request from the Trump campaign to either add a fourth general election debate or move up the calendar for the contests. Trump's campaign said 16 states will have started voting by the time of the first scheduled debate Sept. 29.

Trump is set to accept the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night.

Trump makes surprise RNC appearance

President Donald Trump has made a surprise appearance at Baltimore's Fort McHenry following Vice President Mike Pence's speech at the Republican National Convention.

The president, first lady, Pence and Pence's wife stood on stage with their hands over their hearts as country music star Trace Adkins performed "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Trump didn't make any comments at the podium, but after the national anthem, he and the first lady greeted people in the audience, chatting with supporters while standing a few feet away.

Pence was delivering the evening's keynote from Fort McHenry, where Americans defended Baltimore Harbor from the British in the War of 1812 and inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Pence denounces violence, doesn't mention Blake

Vice President Mike Pence is denouncing violence in American streets but not acknowledging the Black people who have been injured or killed by law enforcement.

In his speech to the Republican National Convention of Wednesday, Pence brought up the violence that erupted in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the shooting by police of Jacob Blake.

A white 17-year-old police admirer was arrested earlier Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide after two people were shot to death during a third straight night of protests in Kenosha over Blake's shooting.

Blake was shot in the back seven times on Sunday as he leaned into his SUV, three of his children seated inside. His family says he is paralyzed from the waist down.

Pence, accepting the GOP nomination for vice president, said, "The violence must stop, whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha." He added, "We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and color."

Watch Vice President Mike Pence's full speech for the Republican National Convention.


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ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.