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.
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Fact check: Puerto Ricans are American citizens.
Trump brings up unproven COVID-19 treatments in segment with front-line workers
During a conversation with front-line workers aired during the RNC, President Trump again talked up unproven treatments for COVID-19 — hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc — and implied that partisanship had infected the studies that found hydroxychloroquine to be an ineffective treatment.
Speaking to a detention worker in California who had recovered from COVID-19, Trump asked what doctors have given him as treatment. The worker said he was given a Z-pack, or azithromycin, as well as cough syrup.
“OK, and I won't even ask you about the hydroxychloroquine,” Trump said, while talking with a front-line worker who had contracted the coronavirus and said he’d taken azithromycin. “It's a shame what they've done to that one. But I took it. I took the Z-pack also. And zinc.”
Trump has said he took those medications prophylactically this year, but there is no evidence that hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug often used to treat lupus and rheumatoid diseases, is an effective treatment for coronavirus. Studies around the world have found it to be ineffective or harmful to patients. In June, a slew of studies dampened hopes around the drug's ability; the National Institutes of Health halted a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine after concluding the treatment was “very unlikely” to help hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Studies have also not found that the drug acts as a prophylactic, either. There’s no evidence that anything other than the scientific method has been inflicted on the study of hydroxychloroquine.
And finally, azithromycin — commonly known as a Z-pack — and zinc have not yet proven to be effective treatments for COVID-19.
A tale of two conventions
Gun waving St. Louis couple says no one will be safe if Biden wins
The first night of the Republican convention was billed as presenting an “optimistic” look at the country. Meanwhile, a gun-waving St. Louis couple who went viral for taking on protesters in front of their home said no one in the U.S. will be safe if Joe Biden wins this fall.
“But in all seriousness, what you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country,” Patricia McCloskey said. “And that’s what we want to speak to you about tonight.”
“These are the policies that are coming to a neighborhood near you,” she added. “So make no mistake: no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.”
Mark and Patricia McCloskey spoke to bolster Donald Trump's rhetoric around ongoing nationwide anti-police brutality protests. Personal injury lawyers, the McCloskeys have since been charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon after going viral for their confrontation with protesters in June.
“Not a single person in the out-of-control mob you saw at our house was charged with a crime. But you know who was? We were,” Mark McCloskey said. “They’ve actually charged us with a felony for daring to defend our home.”
In Missouri “it is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest,” St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner has said.
MAGA, can you hear me? Kimberly Guilfoyle gives high-volume speech to empty room
In a forceful speech Monday night that could likely be heard by everyone, Trump surrogate Kimberly Guilfoyle defended the president’s politics and trashed his rivals for impeding his progress.
She said that “this election is a battle for the soul of America,” a phrase also used by the Biden campaign.
"They want to enslave you to the weak, dependent, liberal, victim ideology, to the point that you will not recognize this country or yourself,” she also said.
The reaction to her speech on social media was largely not about its dark, brooding message but her speaking volume, which may have worked in a crowded conventional hall, not an empty room.
A new contribution to the genre of official Black-friend testimonials
Former football player Herschel Walker took on the now recurrent ritual of attesting to be the Black friend of someone credibly accused of racism. Walker’s contribution to the genre: He said takes it as a personal insult to hear anyone suggest that he would be friends for 37 years with anyone who is a racist.
“It hurts my soul to hear the terrible names that people call Donald,” Walker said. "The worst one is 'racist.' ... People who think that don’t know what they are talking about. Growing up in the Deep South, I have seen racism up close. I know what it is. And it isn’t Donald Trump.”
Trump’s résumé in the racism arena is long. In 1973, the U.S. Justice Department sued Trump Management, then run by Trump and his father, for refusing to rent to Black tenants and operating a system to prevent any such rental agreements. The matter was settled by consent decree in which the Trumps had to meet certain court-monitored conditions. The day that he declared his intention to run for the White House in 2015, Trump falsely described Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and people with “lots of problems,” “bringing drugs” and crime into the country. And in January 2019, during a White House meeting with a bipartisan group of senators, Trump described Haiti and a series of African nations as “shithole countries” sending unwanted immigrants to the U.S. Trump them bemoaned the limited number of immigrants from places like Norway. The list goes on.
Vernon Jones, a Black Democrat and Georgia lawmaker, comes out in support of Trump
Last week’s DNC featured a slew of Republican voices coming out in support of Biden.
The RNC’s answer to that on Monday night was to feature a speech from Vernon Jones, who serves in the Georgia statehouse. Jones ripped into his own party’s leaders (Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer) and touted Trump’s agenda.
"The Democratic Party does not want Black people to leave the mental plantation they've had us on for decades,” he said. “But I have news for them: We are free people with free minds."
Jones resisted calls to resign from party leaders. He slammed the direction of the Democratic party and signaled to Black voters to support Trump.
“I’m here to tell you that Black voices are becoming more woke,” Jones said.
St. Louis couple who waved guns at protesters speaks during Republican convention Monday
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who made national news after they were seen waving guns at protesters as demonstrators neared their St. Louis area home in June, are speaking at the Republican National Convention on Monday to further bolster Donald Trump's rhetoric around ongoing nationwide anti-police brutality protests.
The McCloskeys, who are both personal injury lawyers, have each since been charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last month, the couple is "almost always in conflict with others, typically over control of private property, what people can do on that property, and whose job it is to make sure they do it."
The incident was the subject of scorn on the left while gun rights advocates and conservative media hailed the two as heroes for their actions.
Jim Jordan seeks to promote Trump's 'empathy' after DNC zeroes in on Biden quality
After blasting Democrats, Rep. Jim Jordan sought to paint Donald Trump as an empathetic leader — a quality Democrats spent days promoting in Joe Biden at their convention last week.
Jordan discussed how Trump connected with his family after a nephew died in a car accident two years ago.
"For the next five minutes, family and friends sat in complete silence, as the president of the United States took time to talk to a dad who was hurting," Jordan said. "That’s the president I know."
Fact check: Republicans claim Democrats want to defund the police. Biden isn't in favor.
Republican speakers made misleading claims about calls from some politicians to reform or defund the police during the first night of the RNC.
“The police aren’t coming when you call in Democrat-run cities. They’re already being defunded, disbanded. Blaming our best and allowing society's worst? That's the story they write in Hollywood,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said in his remarks.
“Democrats spent a lot of time talking about how much they despise our president. But we heard very little about their actual policies. Policies that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. Policies like banning fossil fuels, eliminating private health insurance, taxpayer-funded health care for people who come here illegally, and defunding the police,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said shortly after, referring to last week's Democratic National Convention.
While there are some on the left who have embraced calls to cut police funding, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are not among them. Biden says he supports adding funding for local police forces and using more psychologists and social workers to do police work. The official Democratic Party platform, approved last week, does not include any references to defunding the police.
Asked recently by ABC News if he supports defunding the police, Biden said “No, I don’t.”
There are some cities run by Democratic mayors that have sought to reduce police funding — New York City shifted $1 billion in funding out of the police budget — and some, like Minneapolis, have considered a fundamental rethinking of policing. But that doesn't mean Americans have been left without police. New York City’s police still has a $5 billion operating budget. Efforts to disband the Minneapolis police through a ballot initiative have so far failed.
Trump revives racist term when talking about coronavirus
When President Trump spoke to a group of essential workers, some of whom survived COVID-19, in a maskless, not-so-socially-distanced meeting at the White House he revived a racist term for the virus.
"I'm for the nurses. I'm for the doctors. I'm for everybody. We just have to make this China virus go away and it's happening,” Trump said in a segment.
Despite being criticized for using it and the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, Trump continues to use the phrase in press conferences and on Twitter.