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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 will have breaking news, analysis and fact checks.

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

765d ago / 6:32 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 6:20 PM UTC

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

765d ago / 6:07 PM UTC

Biden campaign to air new spot across cable channels during RNC

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. 

765d ago / 5:48 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 5:41 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 5:16 PM UTC

Trump alleges Democrats are trying to 'steal the election'

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.

765d ago / 4:33 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 4:27 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 3:05 PM UTC

Roll call on Trump nomination begins

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
765d ago / 2:32 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 2:31 PM UTC

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

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. 

765d ago / 2:25 PM UTC

RNC meets in Charlotte to officially nominate Trump

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.

765d ago / 2:17 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 1:28 PM UTC

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

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."

765d ago / 1:18 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 12:51 PM UTC

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

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.

765d ago / 12:25 PM UTC

White House transforms from people's house to campaign venue

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.