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Updates and analysis from Day 4 of the Republican National Convention

The convention concluded with President Donald Trump's acceptance speech.
Image: President Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, will be the keynote speakers on the last night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
President Trump and his daughter Ivanka will be the keynote speakers on the last night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The final day of the Republican National Convention took place on Thursday, culminating in President Donald Trump's speech accepting the Republican nomination for president.

Other speakers on Thursday included Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser, and Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer.

Trump delivered his speech at the White House, a decision that critics have said could be a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in certain political activities. The president and vice president are exempt from the law but other White House employees are not.

Trump mocks Biden giving blue-collar workers ‘hugs and even kisses’

Donald Trump won a round of laughs from his audience when he said Joe Biden, for nearly five decades, “took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses, and told them he felt their pain — and then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship their jobs to China and many other distant lands.”

He took an extended pause after saying “kisses,” which was met with a round of laughs.

The reference was likely to accusations of inappropriate touching leveled against Biden throughout the years. Trump, meanwhile, has been accused by more than a dozen women of varying levels of misconduct.

Trump, with White House as literal backdrop, talks about its history as critics say he’s violating the law

Trump embedded references to the country’s past presidents, such as Lincoln, Grant and Eisenhower, and the work they did in the White House as he gives a speech from the People’s House.

“Gathered here at our beautiful and majestic White House — known all over the world as the People's House — we cannot help but marvel at the miracle that is our Great American Story,” Trump said. “This has been the home of larger-than-life figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson who rallied Americans to bold visions of a bigger and brighter future. Within these walls lived tenacious generals like Presidents Grant and Eisenhower who led our soldiers in the cause of freedom.” 

Critics and ethics experts have routinely hammered the president for hosting a political convention — that included the performance of official duties — at the White House, which they say is a violation of federal law that prohibits government employees from participating in political activities. (The White House, which was built by slaves, has long been viewed as a nonpartisan space.) 

White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, who gave a speech, was excoriated by a government watchdog for repeatedly violating the federal law called the Hatch Act by engaging in partisan politics. Ivanka Trump, a senior aide, also gave a speech at the White House, raising similar issues.

Trump Cabinet members watch speech, mostly without masks

United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and others watch a speech during the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn of the White House on Aug. 27, 2020.NBC News

Undocumented immigrants without health care were among the 'essential workers' felled by COVID-19

Republicans repeated their campaign talking point Thursday night that Democrats want to give health care to immigrants without legal status. But the coronavirus pandemic has shown some of the consequences of high uninsured rates among people without legal status in the U.S.

Early in the pandemic, meat plants slowed their production and Americans feared meat shortages as workers became ill. Some died

There are an estimated 10.5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The rates of those uninsured are high for the population. Not all plant workers are undocumented but the agricultural industry and others are known to rely on these workers and immigrants with legal status. 

Undocumented workers are not eligible for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid or Medicare and most do not have health care coverage through their employers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation

Many forgo health care to avoid exposing their undocumented status or affecting future chances for citizenship. Some states provide health coverage with state funding regardless of status, but others deny health care even to pregnant women. 

Some immigrants get health care through non-profit community clinics, but the clinics usually only provide preventive and primary care. Often, undocumented immigrants will only seek care when the situation is dire at more costly emergency rooms. 

Trump accepts nomination for president

President Trump on Thursday accepted the Republican nomination for president.

"My fellow Americans, tonight, with a heart full of gratitude and boundless optimism, I profoundly accept this nomination for president of the United States," he said, deviating from prepared remarks that said "proudly accept."

The changed was not unnoticed on Twitter.

Fact check: Ivanka Trump says Trump's actions have cut drug prices. But drug prices have gone up.

“Recently, he took dramatic action cut the cost of prescription drugs despite fielding angry calls from the CEOs of every major pharmaceutical company,” the president's daughter Ivanka Trump said Thursday night during her primetime address. “Now, when we see an attack ad paid for by Big Pharma, my dad smiles and says to me, “You know we’re doing something really right if they’re hitting us so hard.” 

This is misleading. Drug prices have risen during Trump’s administration, and gone up steadily during the pandemic. And while Trump has talked up taking decisive action, his orders remain secret.

Ivanka says Trump’s ‘results speak for themselves’ — and the internet went to town

Ivanka Trump noted in her speech that while some voters may not be too keen on her father’s tweets, “the results speak for themselves.”

Twitter lit up in response.

Needless to say, some felt the results did speak for themselves. But not in a good way.

Case in point: Ivanka Trump highlighting her father’s actions on the coronavirus and the shutting down parts of the economy to combat the pandemic that has killed over 180,000 people in the U.S.

But as some pointed out, Trump was unable to lead a response that curtailed the outbreak while things were shut down, leaving the disease raging well into the summer months.

Fact check: Ivanka Trump mischaracterizes father's use of Defense Production Act

Ivanka Trump, in her Thursday night RNC speech, claimed that her father “rapidly mobilized the full force of government and the private sector to produce ventilators within weeks.”

This is a substantial mischaracterization of what occurred. Trump did mobilize the private sector within weeks, but given how quickly the coronavirus was spreading early in the year, health officials and experts said it was still too long a period for Trump to take action and that doing so sooner could have saved lives.

Ivanka Trump’s remarks about the private sector are a reference to the president's invoking of the Defense Production Act — a 1950 law allowing the president to force U.S. businesses to produce materials in the national defense, such as ventilators and medical supplies for health care workers.

But Trump dragged his feet in actually putting the act into effect.

As NBC News noted in a fact check of remarks Tuesday night by Ivanka Trump’s brother, Donald Trump Jr., the president had said on March 18 that he was going to invoke the DPA. But he waited more than a week to actually invoke it, finally using it on March 27 to force GM to make ventilators

During that key stretch, hospitals and doctors implored the administration to use the DPA to increase the capacity to produce needed equipment. In a March 21 letter to Trump, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association all urged Trump to "immediately use the DPA to increase the domestic production of medical supplies and equipment that hospitals, health systems, physicians, nurses and all front line providers so desperately need." The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was found on Jan. 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Doctors, public health experts and a prominent Republican governor on the front lines of the pandemic have also sharply criticized how the Trump White House lagged in responding to the coronavirus, including delays in the distribution of ventilators and personal protective equipment.

Undocumented immigrants without health care were some of the “essential workers” felled by COVID-19

Republicans repeated their campaign talking point Thursday night that Democrats want to give health care to immigrants without legal status on Thursday night. But the pandemic has shown some of the consequences of high uninsured rates among people without legal status in the U.S.

Early in the pandemic, meat plants slowed their production and Americans feared meat shortages as workers became ill. Some died

There are an estimated 10.5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The rates of uninsured for health care are high for the population. Not all plant workers are undocumented but the agricultural industry and others are known to rely on undocumented workers and immigrants with legal status. 

Undocumented workers are not eligible for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid or Medicare and most do not have health care coverage through their employers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation

Many forgo health care to avoid exposing their undocumented status or affecting future chances for citizenship. Some states provide health coverage with state funding regardless of status, but others deny health care even to pregnant women. 

Some immigrants get health care through non-profit community clinics, but the clinics usually only provide preventive and primary care. Often undocumented immigrants will only seek care when the situation is dire at more costly emergency rooms.

RNC brags about Trump's record on NYC's public housing

The RNC featured a video focusing on the Trump administration's funding for public housing with several people of color talking about the ways Mayor de Blasio has failed them and how the administration has stepped in to improve public housing projects.

One noteworthy thing here, following the convention's theme of trying to appeal to Black voters, is the way that the feature used the interracial politics among Black and brown people. One woman proclaimed that "illegal immigrants" were being placed in public housing in front of Black Americans who had been on waiting lists for affordable housing for years.

However, according to the organization Justice for Immigrants, only refugees, victims of trafficking, and immigrants admitted for legal residence are eligible for public housing — not undocumented immigrants. If anything, mixed-status housing is permitted, but it still requires at least one family member to be a citizen, or deemed an "eligible immigrant." 

Ironically, though, Trump got his start as a landlord in New York City, where he and his father managed several apartment buildings throughout the boroughs. In the 1970s, early in his career, the Department of Justice investigated the Trumps for unfair housing practices against Black and brown New Yorkers and eventually sued them in 1973 for discriminatory practices. In 2016, Trump said he did not know what was happening at the time, but he and his father were both named as defendants on the lawsuit. The Trumps settled the case without admitting guilt.

Trump has also spoken throughout the summer about his tactics to remove low-income housing from suburbs, usually in tandem with his words blasting protests against racial injustice and inequality. 

Ivanka jokes about Trump's 'communication style.' Not all are laughing.