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Updates and analysis from Day 1 of the Republican National Convention

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump Jr. and Sen. Tim Scott were among the supporters who spoke on Monday night.
Image: Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr. will be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention on Mon., Aug. 24, 2020.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The Republican National Convention kicked off Monday morning in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the official convention business took place place, with the vote on the formal nomination of President Donald Trump.

On Monday night, viewers heard from a long list of Trump supporters, including former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley; the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.; and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who controversially waved firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters outside St. Louis, Missouri, home earlier this summer, also delivered remarks.

Trump also appeared in a video with six people who his administration helped free after they had been taken into custody in countries around the world and held sometimes for years.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading RNC news from this week.

Follow coverage of the day's news on NBC News and MSNBC. NBC News NOW will livestream the convention each day, and NBCNews.com will have breaking news, analysis and fact checks.

Download the NBC News app for full coverage and alerts on the latest news.

Who is Charlie Kirk? Conservative provocateur speaks first at RNC

715d ago / 12:40 AM UTC

Charlie Kirk is the first speaker on Monday's RNC program.

A 26-year-old conservative activist, Kirk founded Turning Points USA, a conservative nonprofit, when he was 18 and has become one of the biggest rising stars in the Republican Party. He often does outreach to other youth groups and young adults to join the conservative movement. 

Kirk is an ardent Trump supporter, and the president has spoken at Kirk’s organization a number of times. He has often amplified some of the president’s debunked conspiracy theories, such as those about the coronavirus and Chinese spying.

Opening RNC video features actor Jon Voight

715d ago / 12:38 AM UTC

The opening video of the RNC featured a familiar voice: Jon Voight. 

Voight is one of the most outspoken Republicans in Hollywood and has been a staunch supporter of President Trump. Voight regularly posts videos to his Twitter feed extolling Trump and urging voters to support him.

Trump Jr. speech was pre-taped

715d ago / 12:33 AM UTC

Donald Trump Jr.'s speech was expected to be live, but a source familiar with the matter says he recorded it earlier Monday.

President Trump criticized the DNC last week for using pretaped remarks.

Trump to appear with rescued hostages tonight

715d ago / 11:49 PM UTC

A campaign official says President Trump will make a taped appearance during the convention tonight with six hostages rescued during his administration.

They are expected to be: 

Michael White: A U.S. Navy veteran who was arrested in July 2018 while visiting his girlfriend in Iran.  White was the first American to be detained in Iran since President Trump took office.  Released June 4, after 683 days in captivity.

Sam Goodwin: A world traveler who entered northern Syria from Iraq on May 25, 2019.  He encountered a regime checkpoint and was taken into custody for failure to have a visa. Released on July 26, 2019.

Andrew Brunson: A pastor, Brunson was accused of being part of a terrorist group, the Gulen movement, and was arrested on Oct. 7, 2016, by Turkey; charges of spying were later added. Released on Oct. 12, 2018.

Joshua and Tamara Holt: Arrested in Venezuela shortly after their wedding and accused of stockpiling weapons. Released on March 26, 2018.

Bryan Nerran:  A pastor, Nerran was arrested on Oct. 5, 2019, by the Indian government for having $40,000 without declaring it. Released May 15.

 

Michael Cohen says Trump 'can't be trusted' in ad for Democratic group

715d ago / 11:46 PM UTC

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former fixer, will appear in a series of anti-Trump ads to warn voters not to trust the president.

In the first of such ads, cut by the Democratic group American Bridge 21st Century, Cohen says that Trump "can’t be trusted — and you shouldn’t believe a word he utters."

"So when you watch the president this week, remember this. If he says something is huge, it’s probably small," he says. "If he says something will work, it probably won’t. And if he says he cares about you and your family, he certainly does not."

He said Trump's promotion of "law and order" is "laughable" because "virtually everyone who worked for his campaign has been convicted of a crime or is under indictment — myself included."

"So when the president gets in front of the cameras this week, remember that he thinks we are all gullible, a bunch of fools," he said. "I was a part of it. And I fell for it. You don’t have to like me. But please, listen to me."

Watch the ad below:

Trump calls Biden 'crazy' for saying he'd shut down country to control virus if scientists deemed it necessary

715d ago / 11:33 PM UTC

Donald Trump called Joe Biden "ridiculous" for saying he would shut down the country if scientists deemed it necessary to control the virus.

"Joe Biden has said he would lock down the Country again. That’s crazy!" Trump tweeted. "We’re having record job growth and a booming stock market, but Joe would end it all and close it all down. Ridiculous!"

In an interview with ABC News, Biden said he is "prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus."

If scientists deemed a shutdown necessary, Biden said, "I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists.”

The virus has so far killed more than 175,000 Americans.

RNC chair offers a backstage look

715d ago / 11:31 PM UTC

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted a backstage look at herself next to someone she said was President Trump ... but his back is to the camera. 

 

RNC kicks off without a new party platform

715d ago / 11:13 PM UTC

The Republicans' convention kicked off on Monday without a new party platform. Over the weekend, the RNC formalized a resolution stating there will be no platform until 2024 but that the Republican Party "has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda."

"The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today; therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda," the resolution said.

Biden, Harris to get routine virus testing, a notable change

715d ago / 10:54 PM UTC

In a notable change, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, will now be regularly tested for the coronavirus as the race heats up, a campaign aide confirmed Monday.

“This announcement is another step demonstrating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ commitment to turn the page on Trump’s catastrophic mismanagement during the worst public health crisis in 100 years,” said Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates.

Bates declined to comment Monday when asked if Biden had been tested yet, though deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said Sunday that he hadn't been.

A campaign aide said the decision to move forward with regular testing was based on the recommendations of the campaign’s medical advisers. It comes as the candidate and his running mate are expected to ramp up in-person campaigning in the final 10 weeks of the election. 

Trump's campaign to argue America under threat by Democrats

715d ago / 10:39 PM UTC

Donald Trump will try to kick-start his flagging re-election campaign as Republicans begin their national convention Monday night with an effort to depict Democrats as a threat to America.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a Missouri couple who gained national attention when they pointed guns as Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their home, will argue "radical leftists" are trying to take over America.

“Democrats no longer view the government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens," they will say, according to Trump's campaign.

The McCloskeys are one strand in the backdrop for Trump's convention: an America in turmoil. The coronavirus pandemic continues to rage after a summer punctuated by protests calling for an end to racial injustice. This week, the nation is also grappling with duel natural threats from wildfires in California and a pair of hurricanes in the Gulf.

The president enters his convention trailing Joe Biden in the polls, and he faces a torrent of criticism for his administration's handling of the pandemic. This week's convention will be his most aggressive attempt yet to turn the national sentiment in his favor.

Click here for the full story

Trump campaign wanted Kellyanne Conway back but she decided against it

715d ago / 10:22 PM UTC

The Trump campaign was eagerly courting Kellyanne Conway to come back and join the re-elect effort this fall, according to two people familiar with the matter, but she declined due to family obligations. Campaign officials had discussed her potentially moving over and traveling ahead of November as a major surrogate but she determined that grueling schedule would be too tough on her four teenage children.   

Conway, one of President Trump's longest-serving advisers, will officially depart the White House next week. She is still expected to deliver her address at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. 

Conway is expected to continue to advise the president in an unofficial and informal capacity after she leaves. Conway was Trump's campaign manager for the final months of the 2016 cycle and she has appeared at several 2020 events since then in her personal capacity. 

Republican voters in Florida explain why they're voting for Biden

715d ago / 10:02 PM UTC

 

4 things to watch for on Night 1

715d ago / 9:45 PM UTC

While he's trailing Joe Biden in every national poll as well as in key battleground states in recent surveys, advisers and allies say that Donald Trump is in a better place than he was in 2016, and that internal polling shows the race tightening in a sign their attacks on Biden have been working. Key to their pitch going forward will be trying to convince the country that things are on the upswing because of Trump's efforts, said aides inside and outside of the campaign.

Republicans say they are aiming to boost voters’ attitudes about the state of the nation with their convention this week, in hopes those feelings will carry over to their assessment of whether Trump deserves another four years in office.

"I think we are in a much stronger position than the public polls would indicate," said Brian Walsh, president of the pro-Trump Super PAC America First, who said he's looking for Trump to use the convention to lay out his vision for the next four years and contrasting that to Biden's. "We always believed the race would be close, and we still believe so today."

Click here for four things to watch for on the RNC's first night 

Delegates cheer Trump's appearance during first day

715d ago / 9:02 PM UTC
Image: U.S. President Donald Trump makes an appearance at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte
Republican delegates cheer President Donald Trump as they listen to him speak on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Aug. 24, 2020.Carlos Barria / Reuters

 

Biden hits Trump's 'failed leadership' ahead of RNC speeches

715d ago / 8:50 PM UTC

Joe Biden released a statement ahead of Monday night's convention events.

"Last week, voters heard about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' commitment to stand up for all Americans and their vision for overcoming this moment of crisis that Donald Trump's failed leadership has severely worsened — by building back better with historic investments in American competitiveness and our middle class," he said.

"What they will hear from Donald Trump this week are the last things our country needs: more desperate, wild-eyed lies and toxic division in vain attempts to distract from his mismanagement," he added. "What they won't hear is what American families have urgently needed and been forced to go without for over seven consecutive months: any coherent strategy for defeating the pandemic."

New York state prosecutor confirms Trump Organization civil probe

and

715d ago / 8:34 PM UTC

The president's son Eric Trump has refused to comply with a subpoena in a New York state prosecutor's investigation of the Trump Organization, court documents revealed Monday.

President Trump's entire private business entity has yet to comply with subpoenas from New York Attorney General Letitia James, James said in court documents.

New filings showed that James' investigation is based, in part, on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony to Congress and seeks to learn whether financial filings for the president's businesses were inflated or deflated to obtain loans or reduce potential taxes.

Eric Trump, who is set to address the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, responded by saying, "Without any basis, the NYAG has pledged to take my father down from the moment she ran for office. This is the highest level of prosecutorial misconduct — purposely dropped on the eve of the Republican Convention for political points. Sad that this is her focus as New York burns."

Read more here.

715d ago / 8:14 PM UTC

Postmaster general denies political influence as House questions mail delays

715d ago / 7:46 PM UTC

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before the House Oversight Committee Monday and grew increasingly defensive as Democrats asked pointed questions about delayed U.S. Postal Service mail delivery.

DeJoy denied that policies he implemented had a major effect on mail delivery times, stating that all he had done was reshuffle the organization and attempt to have the Postal Service trucks run on schedule. He said many changes, such as the removal of blue collection boxes and mail sorting machines, preceded his taking the post on June 15.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, presented an internal Postal Service document, which appeared to have been prepared for DeJoy on Aug. 12, that showed an 8 to 10 percent drop in on-time mail deliveries since early July.

She emphasized that DeJoy, a former logistics executive, was in charge during this collapse in service, but DeJoy refused to take sole responsibility for the slow down. "There are a lot of reasons for delays besides the action I took to run your trucks on time," he said. "There are other reasons for delays in the nation."

The House passed a bill on Saturday authorizing $25 billion in emergency funds for the Postal Service. While it gained some support from House Republicans, it is expected to be met with opposition in the Senate.

Click here for the full story on DeJoy's testimony 

Fact check: Trump falsely claims he ‘protected pre-existing conditions’

715d ago / 6:32 PM UTC

On the first day of the RNC, Donald Trump inaccurately told a crowd in Charlotte, N.C., that he has “strongly protected pre-existing conditions” while in office.

“We strongly protected your pre-existing conditions. We got rid of the horrible mandate,” he said Monday, referring to his 2017 tax law that zeroed out the penalty for not carrying insurance. “Every Republican is sworn to protecting your pre-existing condition. You won't hear that.”

In fact, Trump has pursued legislation, litigation and executive actions that would weaken pre-existing condition protections, which were set up under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

The president championed legislation in 2017 to undo the ACA and allow states to obtain waivers from rules that bar insurers from charging more to people with a prior illness. (The effort passed the House but stalled in the Senate.)

Trump’s administration is currently backing a lawsuit led by Republican attorneys general that would wipe out the Affordable Care Act, including its pre-existing condition protections. He has not offered an alternative plan to restore them. And Trump has expanded the use of short-term plans that are cheaper and not required to cover pre-existing health conditions.

'Today is about four more years': Pence speaks after being renominated by RNC

715d ago / 6:20 PM UTC

Biden campaign to air new spot across cable channels during RNC

715d ago / 6:07 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — Democratic nominee Joe Biden's campaign announced Monday that it will air a new television spot contrasting Biden's vision for the United States with President Trump's presidency on cable airwaves during the Republican National Convention as part of a $26 million ad campaign this week across broadcast, cable, radio and digital platforms.

The 60-second spot, entitled, "Heal America," argues that the United States needs a team that's "up to the task" of handling the four simultaneous crises plaguing the nation — public health, economic, climate, and racial injustice. 

"Together, they'll lead America, unite America and heal America. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris: because a united America will be a better America," the ad narrator concludes. 

Biden creates 'safe harbor' for renegade Republicans who've dumped Trump

and

715d ago / 5:48 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is trying hard to win over disaffected Republicans — can it work in such a polarized country?

All four nights of last week's Democratic National Convention featured prominent refugee Republicans speaking against President Donald Trump and in favor of the Democratic presidential nominee. And this week, to coincide with the GOP convention, Biden's team is launching a Republicans for Biden effort led by former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and other former GOP lawmakers.

Rather than banking on the vaunted Obama coalition of millennials, young women and non-white voters to power him to the White House, Biden is seeking to convert some historically GOP-leaning constituencies as Trump shows softness in support with white college grads and seniors.

"For Biden's convention to feature famous Republicans supporting Biden is intended to send the message that he is a unifying figure and that his opponent is so extreme that members of his own party have fled," said Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian for NBC News.

Read the full story.

Flake explains backing Biden as 'someone who will stop the chaos and reverse the damage'

715d ago / 5:41 PM UTC

More than two-dozen former Republican members of Congress, including ex-Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, endorsed Joe Biden for president on Monday, hours ahead of the Republican National Convention.

Flake explained why he will vote for Biden and not for Donald Trump in a live video on several social media platforms.

"Today, given what we have experienced over the past four years, it's not enough just to register our disapproval of the president," Flake said. "We need to elect someone else in his place — someone who will stop the chaos and reverse the damage."

Among the list of Republicans supporting Biden are Flake, former Sens. John Warner of Virginia and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire, and former Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Ray LaHood of Illinois, who also served as transportation secretary under former President Barack Obama.

Read more on Flake's and others' endorsement of Biden.

Trump alleges Democrats are trying to 'steal the election'

715d ago / 5:16 PM UTC

Donald Trump said Monday in Charlotte that Democrats are “trying to steal the election” in November by expanding access to mail-in ballots. 

Speaking to GOP delegates who formally nominated him as their party’s pick for president, Trump said that Democrats are “trying to steal the election” and falsely claimed that the Obama administration tried to steal the 2016 election with “spying.” 

Delegates at the convention center chanted “four more years,” and Trump responded, “If you really want to drive them crazy, say ‘12 more years.’”

“This is the most important election in the history of our country,” Trump said. “Our country can go in a horrible, horrible direction or an even greater direction.”

Trump said that he felt he had an obligation to be at the convention and slammed Joe Biden for not attending the Democratic National Convention last week in Milwaukee. 

"They didn't go there at all... We did this out of respect for your state,” Trump said.

'Eerie': Republicans convene in a near-empty uptown Charlotte

715d ago / 4:33 PM UTC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Political celebrities and cable news stars were supposed to fill the streets. Hotels thought they would hit capacity. Rooftop bars expected to book up with late-night parties, and nearby restaurants anticipated an endless crush of customers. There were plans for live music concerts and fireworks.

Instead, uptown Charlotte, the official home of the 2020 Republican National Convention, was nearly deserted as the meeting to formally nominate President Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee kicked off Monday morning.

On the eve of the convention, restaurants around the Charlotte Convention Center remained closed. Street signs and storefronts, which would normally be covered in RNC signage, displayed social distancing guidelines. A truck with an anti-Trump billboard in its bed drove around the uptown area, but aside from a few reporters and police officers, no one was there to see it. A few scattered demonstrations took place around the city ahead of the event — but as Republicans arrived in the uptown area, there were no protesters in sight.

"It is a very eerie feeling," said Vinay Patel, principal at SREE Hotels, which includes 12 hotels in the Charlotte area, adding that all of those hotels had been contracted with the RNC.

Read more about the scene at the convention.

Trump officially becomes Republican nominee in 2020 race after delegates’ roll call

715d ago / 4:27 PM UTC

CHARLOTTE — Donald Trump officially became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee Monday after a scaled-down group of delegates gathered for a roll-call vote at the Charlotte Convention Center.

“I want to thank you for the honor of this day,” Vice President Mike Pence said just before Trump went over the 1,276 delegate threshold needed to win the nomination. “I am here for one reason and one reason only, and that is not just the Republican Party, but America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.”

Trump and Pence were traveling on an official White House trip to North Carolina on Monday, making a surprise visit to the Republican National Convention.

Read the story.

Roll call on Trump nomination begins

715d ago / 3:05 PM UTC
Image: Republicans Hold Virtual 2020 National Convention
Delegates begin to arrive for the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on Aug. 24, 2020.Chris Carlson / Pool via Getty Images

The convention has begun taking the state-by-state roll call vote on President Donald Trump's renomination.

Ronna McDaniel called for the state roll call to begin in alphabetical order, with the exception of Florida, Trump’s newly adopted home state.

It is tradition for the candidate’s home state to be the one to officially push them over the delegate threshold needed to win the nomination. In this case, that is 1,276 delegates out of 2,550.

Just 336 delegates were invited to participate in the in-person roll call in Charlotte, six from each state and territory. Delegates were asked to wear face masks while inside the Charlotte Convention Center and attendees were asked to get tested for the coronavirus before traveling to Charlotte. Each person was to receive another test upon arrival.

North Carolina officials granted the RNC an exception to the 10-person cap on indoor activities. Just a few reporters were invited to the convention floor in an effort to promote social distancing.

Delegates begin to arrive for the first day of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.
Delegates begin to arrive for the first day of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.Chris Carlson / AP

Fireworks approved for National Mall after Trump's final convention speech

715d ago / 2:32 PM UTC

Fireworks are expected to go off over the National Mall in Washington on Thursday for the final night of the convention. 

A permit has been issued that approved the fireworks that Republicans want to launch, Mike Litterst, a spokesperson for the National Park Service, said Monday. They're expected to go off after Donald Trump delivers his final convention speech from the White House South Lawn. 

NPS said that the Republican National Committee will have to reimburse all costs. 

"The applicant is responsible for production of the event and all associated costs. 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," Litterst said in a statement.

Fact Check: Delegate repeats misleading Trump claim Dems omitted "under God" during pledge

715d ago / 2:31 PM UTC

A Republican delegate from Alaska, Peter Goldberg, slammed Democrats as the convention kicked off Monday, restating a misleading claim by President Donald Trump that Democrats omitted the words "under God" from the pledge of allegiance at their convention last week. 

"That could not, would not, ever happen here," Goldberg said before he recited the pledge. 

"We know as Republicans that America must put its full faith and trust in that God," he said. 

Democrats, however, read the entire pledge of allegiance, including the words "under God," during the prime-time segments of the convention each night last week. There were two caucus meetings, the Muslim Delegates and Allies Assembly and the LGBTQ Caucus meeting, according to the Associated Press, that left out those words during their daytime meetings. 

RNC meets in Charlotte to officially nominate Trump

715d ago / 2:25 PM UTC

Republican delegates are meeting in a scaled-down convention this morning to officially nominate President Donald Trump as the party’s presidential candidate against Joe Biden in the November election.

"We are obviously disappointed we could not hold this event in the same way we had originally planned," Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said as she gaveled in the convention.

McDaniel hinted that “special guests” could stop by the Charlotte Convention Center later in the day. Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to make official trips to North Carolina today.

Read more on the RNC’s first day of business here.

Jeff Flake, other former GOP Congress members endorse Biden ahead of RNC

715d ago / 2:17 PM UTC

More than two-dozen former Republican members of Congress, including ex-Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, endorsed Joe Biden for president on Monday, hours ahead of the Republican National Convention.

Biden’s presidential campaign announced the list of endorsements in a press release. Flake was expected to speak to reporters later in the day about why he has chosen to support the former vice president.

Among the list of Republicans supporting Biden are Flake, former Sens. John Warner of Virginia and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire, and former Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Ray LaHood of Illinois, who also served as transportation secretary under former President Barack Obama.

Read more on why some former GOP lawmakers are supporting Biden.

Trump names improving economy, school choice among his second term priorities

715d ago / 1:28 PM UTC

President Donald Trump said in a new interview that he plans to focus on improving the economy in his second term and also emphasized the importance of school choice. 

“I would strengthen what we’ve done, and I would do more,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News that taped Friday and aired Sunday night. 

Trump claimed that Democrats are intentionally taking steps to hurt the economy, saying they're doing "anything they can to make the economy as bad as possible, but they’re having a tough time with it because the economy’s so good.”

Asked about whether he plans to moderate his tone if he's re-elected, the president said, “I’d like it to be calm too. If I change my attitude, I wouldn’t get nearly as many things done.”

The president's 2020 re-election campaign also sent out a list of items on his second-term agenda on Sunday, but the priorities were vague and didn't explain how he would accomplish certain goals like "create 10 million new jobs in 10 months” and “return to normal in 2021."

ANALYSIS: Trump's Republican convention challenge: Overcoming the trust gap

715d ago / 1:18 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump heads into the Republican National Convention needing to make the greatest sales pitch of his life.

He trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden in national and swing-state polling, voters give him low marks for his handling of a coronavirus pandemic that has taken more than 170,000 American lives and led tens of millions to file for unemployment insurance this year, and his lofty plans for a major international peace accord — like a nuclear deal with North Korea — have disintegrated.

His onetime aces in the hole have vanished, one by one. His plot to extort Ukraine into announcing an investigation into Biden resulted in his own impeachment. The economy, his strongest political asset just six months ago, has been roughed up by his response to the coronavirus. And, rather than strengthening the nation's global position, his trade war with China has pummeled elements of his still-loyal base.

Read the analysis.

Spruced-up White House Rose Garden set for Melania Trump speech

715d ago / 12:51 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — The White House Rose Garden has been spruced up in time for its moment in the campaign spotlight.

First lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday.

The location of the first lady's speech will be just one of the ways that the Republican National Convention will break with political norms. Federal rules prohibit the White House from being the setting for expressly political events, a regulation that many presidents have flirted with violating.

Read the story.

White House transforms from people's house to campaign venue

715d ago / 12:25 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — Several rows of stage lights could be seen peeking above the colonial style windows of the West Wing when the sun rose Friday as the atmosphere of the White House began to transition, for the first time, into a purely political venue.

Behind the scenes this past week, campaign and convention staffers began work on the White House South Lawn setting up lights, speakers and a stage that would be used for President Donald Trump to deliver his acceptance speech as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. Trucks brought in long metal poles and beams, and construction equipment was set up adjacent to the Rose Garden.

It is unprecedented in modern politics for the White House to be used as the site of an explicitly political event, with past presidents maintaining some boundaries between the office of the presidency and their re-election bids.

Trump has been smashing those norms for months — attacking Democratic rival Joe Biden from the Rose Garden and playing campaign-style videos in the White House briefing room — but his prime-time convention address will represent the most blatant blurring of the lines yet.

Read more about the White House's convention preparations.