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By Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann

OFF TO THE RACES: “Rancor and hard-edged attacks”

Follow all of NBC’s convention coverage here.

Benjy Sarlin looks at how Melania Trump’s speech was – before the controversy now clouding it - a bright spot in an ominous first day of the convention.

From the New York Times: "Rancor and hard-edged attacks dominated the start of the Republican National Convention on Monday as speakers branded Hillary Clinton as a liar who deserved to be in prison and two African-American Republicans ridiculed the Black Lives Matter movement. The divisive day even swept up the presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump. Renegade delegates forced a floor fight in an effort to embarrass him, and his top aide called Ohio’s governor “petulant” for not endorsing Mr. Trump."

And the Washington Post’s lede: "Republicans gathered here Monday to begin making the case to a skeptical country that celebrity billionaire Donald Trump, the most unconventional and impulsive major-party ­standard-bearer in modern history, could be a credible and steadfast leader at a time of terrorist threats abroad and senseless tragedies at home. But the first night of the four-day Republican National Convention was spent largely playing to the party’s divided base. It was heavy with attacks on Hillary Clinton, who is set to accept the Democratic presidential nomination next week in Philadelphia, as well as themes of identity and anger.”

POLITICO’s headline: “Trump’s Disastrous Day One."

And the AP: "Barring a last-minute jolt to the proceedings, Donald Trump is hours away from attaining the 2016 presidential nomination despite efforts to stop him that spilled messily into the opening of the Republican National Convention. As his wife, Melania, put it from the stage, "It would not be a Trump contest without excitement and drama."

Buzzing this morning: Melania Trump appeared to use sections of Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech word for word.

Melania Trump told NBC’s TODAY before the speech that she wrote the speech “with as little help as possible."

Leigh Ann Caldwell unpacks the chaos on the convention floor Monday afternoon.

ICYMI: "Ohio Gov. John Kasich told NBC News' Lester Holt that Donald Trump would "have to change everything that he says" in order for him to speak at the Republican convention taking place in his home state."

Trump called into FOX News as the convention was ongoing, stepping on his own programming last night.

The AP finds that most Trump voters forgive him for breaking his promise to self-fund.

The Wall Street Journal looks at how Reince Priebus has become one of Trump’s top advisers.

POLITICO looks at how party elders are using the convention to put rules in place to help the party rebuild in 2020.

CLINTON: Clinton met with Philando Castile’s family.

The Wall Street Journal has a good primer on Clinton v. Trump on economic issues.

Clinton called Trump the most dangerous candidate in history.