Day two of the 2016 Republican national convention is in the can. Here’s what happened:

  • Donald Trump was formally nominated by the Republican party to be president of the United States and Mike Pence was nominated to be vice president.
  • On the convention floor, a member of each state delegation said something good about their state, then announced how its delegates were to be awarded.
  • Once upon a time, the question was whether Trump could hit 1,237 delegates. In the end he got 1,725. Ted Cruz was second with 475. John Kasich got 120 and Marco Rubio 114.
  • Award for liveliest floor speech went to Chris Christie, who hid it well if he’s sour about not being named running mate. Christie, a former prosecutor, pretended to prosecute Hillary Clinton, and the crowd got to yell “guilty!” over and over. They also chanted “Lock her up!”
  • Donald Trump Jr won praise and applause for a speech that appeared to be undergirded by some conviction about his father’s virtue and industriousness. Tiffany Trump also spoke, with poise.
  • But it emerged that a couple lines about education in Donald Trump Jr’s speech had also appeared in an essay by a Canadian law professor, who it turns out helped write Jr’s speech. Much of the convention buzz Tuesday was attached to Melania Trump borrowing Michelle Obama’s words the night earlier.
  • House speaker Paul Ryan presided amiably over Trump’s nomination and gave a speech about Republicans having an advantage in the national debate because they have ideas. The speech barely mentioned Trump.
  • Outside the convention hall, city officials said the total number of arrests on the week was five and “the Erie County Public Health Department is overseeing an issue regarding norovirus at Kalahari Resort.”
  • Police were a heavy presence in Public Square as protests played out from across the spectrum.
  • Trump said he would appear at the convention Wednesday night before giving his big speech Thursday. Stay tuned!


It appears that at least a couple lines in Donald Trump Jr’s speech were lifted from an essay in The American Conservative (full article here), without attribution.


— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 20, 2016

Last night it emerged that lines in Melania Trump’s speech had been lifted from an old Michelle Obama speech.

"I'd like to thank my sister, Malia, for being so helpful in proofreading my speech." – Tiffany Trump

— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) July 20, 2016

Update: the author Donald Trump Jr apparently borrowed from, a Canadian law professor, weighs in, somewhat cryptically, tweeting, “Except it wasn’t stealing.”

Except it wasn't stealing...

— Frank Buckley (@fbuckley) July 20, 2016

Here’s the pertinent section of the essay:

And here it is off Google books: Donald Trump Jr plagiarized FH Buckley

— Alan Yuhas (@AlanYuhas) July 20, 2016

Update update: Buckley helped write it. He stole from himself.

F.H. Buckley tells @businessinsider: "I was a speechwriter for this speech. So I'm afraid there's no issue here."

— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) July 20, 2016


Here’s the latest summary of the protest and public safety situation courtesy of the city of Cleveland. Quoting a statement:

There have been a total of 5 arrests as it relates to the Republican National Convention since Sunday, July 17.

· A warning alarm on an RTA bus sounded. The bus was stopped and evacuated. A hazmat crew declared it to be a false alarm.

· A fire alarm was pulled at the Hilton. The building was evacuated and the incident is being investigated.

· The Bicycle Unit was deployed to large scale demonstrations to keep two opposing sides separated. Both protests dispersed and no civilians or officers were harmed.

· The list of registered protest groups is available here.

· The expectation for protestors is to exercise their rights peacefully and without harming others or property.

· If not of a criminal nature, individuals with prohibited items are asked to leave and the items confiscated.

· Officers have trained for many scenarios. Hundreds of agencies have responded to the call to assist Cleveland Police.

Health Concerns:

· The Erie County Public Health Department is overseeing an issue regarding norovirus at Kalahari Resort.

Reince Priebus is back. He recognizes the delegate from Illinois to move to adjourn the convention. The delegates moves to adjourn.

Priebus calls for ayes and nos. The ayes have it although once again there are some inexplicably stalwart “NO!”s. What would they accomplish at this late hour?

Then the band strikes up Love Train. Listen to this while you look at the tweet below and it will be like being here:

Trump convention planners are doing something wrong. This is a primetime shot of the hall. Empty.

— adam nagourney (@adamnagourney) July 20, 2016

Kimberlin Brown continues, bravely, as the room empties. The California delegation, her local, is politely listening. The vast majority of delegates otherwise are peacing out. The Trump family is long gone from their box. The night is finishing on time.


As an actress and a farmer– did you ever expect to see those words in the same sentence – I’ve seen first hand the impact of high taxes, over-regulation, and suspect trade deals.

I have seen tv and movie productions move out of the country. If you were an “A” lister like Leonardo DiCaprio or an owner of a studio, you were okay. But, if you were a cameraman, sound tech, boom operator or did any one of the many jobs in a production, you were out of luck.

Finally someone standing up for the boom operators, grips and best boys

— emily bell (@emilybell) July 20, 2016


The last scheduled speaker is actress and businesswoman Kimberlin Brown. “Many of you may know me from one of your favorite soap operas, The Young & the Restless, the Bold & the Beautiful, and many other television shows and films,” she begins.

“I am proud to support Donald Trump – the extraordinary businessman and the right leader for our time,” Carson says. His prepared remarks are over but he keeps speaking.

Then a protester is attempting a protest. She has a banner that a member of the crowd tries to snatch from her. Two people nearby hold up American flags, which they have very handy, to block her from cameras. People are yelling at her, “USA! USA!”

Carson wraps and the band strikes up. Convention staff are moving toward the protester, who is giving a peace sign and seems nonthreatening in the extreme. A lady tries to steal the protester’s flag. The protester is surrounded by convention people. She has not been removed. She is holding up a peace sign. Here come convention staff. The band plays through the interruption. The American flag curtains blocking the protester from cameras is strange, it’s as if they’re trying to shield her while she’s changing. The protester is being led out. There she goes.

Trump supporters cover up an anti-racism protester with an American flag #RNC2016

— Paul Owen (@PaulTOwen) July 20, 2016


“We must resist the temptation to take the easy way out and passively accept what is fed to us by the media or the political elite,” Carson says, from his prepared text. Then he ad libs a line about the media: “They don’t know what they’re talking about, and they have an agenda.”

Carson then strays from his prepared text. The Teleprompter stops moving.

And Carson says that one of Clinton’s mentors was Saul Alinsky. “This was someone that she greatly admired... he wrote a book called Rules for Radicals. On the dedication page he acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who founded his own kingdom.”

[Ben Carson is a serious enemy of Lucifer]:


“I have to start out by saying one very important thing. I’m not politically correct,” he says.

Why are liberals always trying to force Ben Carson to be politically correct?

Capito’s done. Up next is Ben Carson and people are excited. A few delegates are visibly jumping up and down. There’s sustained applause. Ben Carson is a Republican rock star. “Don’t eat up my time,” he jokes.

Reminder that Capito brought up concerns w/ Trump's tone with him when he met with Senate GOP leadership: #RNCinCLE

— Bridget Bowman (@bridgetbhc) July 20, 2016

Senator Capito is attacking Clinton:

A day in the life of a coal miner --- and a day in the life of Hillary Clinton --- could not be more different.

For over 25 years --- she’s thrived in a world where the rules bend to her. Recently we learned she showed “extreme carelessness” with our nation’s secrets.

For others --- the consequences of misusing classified information have been swift and serious.

Not for Hillary Clinton.

And the Clinton camp replies:

You're too kind, @SenCapito. #RNCinCLE

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 20, 2016

Here are some video highlights from the evening:

Trump formally nominated by Republican party for president

Next up is senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. From her prepared remarks:

The constant refrain I hear back home --- is to stop the bickering --- improve the economy --- and fight for jobs.

Let me tell you something --- they’re right.

The greatest obstacle for West Virginia families --- and families all across America over the past eight years --- has been a president that places left-wing priorities and campaign promises over their livelihoods.

The crowd is on its feet as DTJr wraps by paying tribute to “my mentor, my best friend, my father, Donald Trump.” They liked that.

Some positive reviews of Trump Jr by the Twitterati:

Kidding aside, another Trump kid is delivering another solid convention speech.

— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) July 20, 2016

Absolutely. Don Jr has been terrific.

— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) July 20, 2016

Tiffany and Don Jr. have done the family proud tonight

— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) July 20, 2016

But would you go this far?

Is this by @DonaldJTrumpJr the best surrogate speech Trump has had in the entire campaign?

— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) July 20, 2016

Trump Jr is now saying:

There’s so much work to do. We will not accept the current state of our country because it’s too hard to change. That’s not America.


More like the Hemingway brothers.

We wrote about the big game hunting of Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump in 2015:

— Guardian US (@GuardianUS) July 20, 2016

Donald Trump Jr compares America’s schools to Soviet department stores. He’s an education reformer it seems. He believes in school choice and appears critical of teachers’ unions. He went to the exclusive private Hill School.

Trump family listening to Trump's son addressing #RNCinCleveland

— Matt Arco (@MatthewArco) July 20, 2016

Trump Jr says he can drive a caterpillar comfortably:

We didn’t learn from MBAs. We learned from people who had doctorates in common sense. It’s why we’re the only children of billionaires as comfortable in a D-10 caterpillar as we are in our own cars.

Does that go for Ivanka and Eric too, and Tiffany? Or just for Don Jr?

Trump Jr is Trump’s oldest child.

He says “it was one of the great honors of my life to be able to put [dad] over the top in the delegate count today.”

“You want to know what kind of president he will be? Then let me tell you how he runs his businesses... he spent his career with regular Americans, pouring sheetrock... heh heh... pouring concrete and hanging sheetrock.”

Is he saying Trump actually did drywall work on job sites?

Now Donald Trump Jr speaks. He says he is the father of five “and the son of a great man.”

“In business I was trained by my father to make the tough investments and decisions today to ensure a brighter tomorrow.”

He says his father “has a track record of accomplishing the impossible.”

“But remember one thing. We’re still Americans. We’re still one country. And we’re gonna get it all back. And it’s gonna be better than ever before.”

Chip off the old block, that line.

Donald Trump Jr continues. He says his father “changed the skyline of New York.”

“I’ve seen it time and time again. That look in his eyes when people told him it can’t be done... For my father, impossible is just the starting point. That’s how he approaches business projects. That’s how he approaches life.”

Tiffany Trump, his fourth child, has just spoken. She explains she’s nervous, not having much convention experience, but that her father always encouraged her never to turn her back on a challenge. She says that most of her successes are ahead of her. And that she always liked introducing her friends to her father.

Chris Christie is accusing Hillary Clinton of being cozy with the Russians, with apparently zero sense of irony.

— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) July 20, 2016

Chris Christie asks Republican convention: "Is Hillary Clinton guilty or not guilty?" #RNCinCLE

— Paul Owen (@PaulTOwen) July 20, 2016


The crowd is repeatedly finding Clinton “guilty” of stuff presented by Christie. All these questions elicit a lusty crowd yell: Guilty!

Hillary Clinton, as a failure for ruining Libya and creating a nest for terrorist activity by ISIS guilty or not guilty?

Hillary Clinton, as an apologist for an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria resulting in the capture of innocent young women guilty or not guilty?

Hillary Clinton, putting big government spending financed by the Chinese ahead of jobs for middle class Americans guilty or not guilty?

We must ask this question: Hillary Clinton, as an awful judge of the character of a dictator-butcher in the Middle Eastguilty or not guilty?

Hillary Clinton, as an inept negotiator of the worst nuclear arms deal in American history guilty or not guilty?

Once again, as a flawed evaluator of dictators and failed strategist who has permitted Russia back in as a major player in the Middle East is Hillary Clinton guilty or not guilty?

Hillary Clinton as coddler of the brutal Castro brothers and betrayer of the family of fallen Trooper Werner Foerster guilty or not guilty?

As to Hillary Clinton, putting herself ahead of America guilty or not guilty? Hillary Clinton, lying to the American people about her selfish, awful judgment guilty or not guilty?

And here at home on risking America’s secrets to keep her own and lying to cover it all up guilty.

The whole crowd starts chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

“Alright, alright, we’re getting there. Give me a few more minutes, we’ll get there,” Christie says.

“Since the Justice Department refuses to allow you to render a verdict, let’s present the case now, on the facts, against Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Big cheers for this conceit.

Chris Christie is next. he’s cheered enthusiastically. Even by the New Jersey delegation!

Here’s the start of Christie’s speech:

I am here tonight not only as the Governor of New Jersey, but also as Donald Trump’s friend for the last fourteen years.

We are about to be led by not only a strong leader but by a caring, genuine and decent person.

I am proud to say that the voice of the people of our nation is being heard in this hall tonight, and those voices want Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States.

But everybody, this election is not just about Donald Trump, no. It is also about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton is booed.

Senate majority leader Kevin McCarthy tells Americans “we hear you”:

People can afford the health care they want. The people’s voice will be heard. Government will help those who truly need it and allow everyone an opportunity to rise.

So to all those left behind by economic forces out of your control --- we hear you.

To those attacked for your beliefs --- we hear you!

To a nation that sees chaos spreading across America and across the globe --- we hear you

I’m a man, man.

A unique hat on the floor

— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) July 20, 2016

Ryan kind of wakes up the crowd at the end. They jump up and applaud these lines, delivered with gusto:

So what do you say we unite this party, at this crucial moment when unity is everything?

Let’s take the fight to our opponents with better ideas – let’s get on the offensive and let’s stay there.

Let’s compete in every part of America, and turn out at the polls like every last vote matters, because it will.

Fellow Republicans, what we have begun here, let’s see it through … let’s win this thing … let’s show America our best and nothing less.

Paul Ryan is speaking in support of Trump now. Saying things like “only with Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way.”

Scott Bixby remembers it wasn’t always this way:

"Claiming a person can't do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment." – Paul Ryan

— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) July 20, 2016

“Look, anti-Semitic images, they’ve got no place in a presidential campaign." – Paul Ryan

— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) July 20, 2016

"I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country's interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles." – Paul Ryan

— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) July 20, 2016

Ryan is kind of plodding through a long speech with a lot to go.

He has framed the Republican party not as the party of no but as the party of ideas:

Yet we know better than to think that Republicans can win only on the failures of Democrats. It still comes down to the contest of ideas. Which is really good news, ladies and gentlemen, because when it’s about ideas, the advantage goes to us.

Against the dreary backdrop of arrogant bureaucracies … pointless mandates … reckless borrowing … willful retreat in the world … and all that progressives still have in store for us, the Republican Party stands as the great, enduring alternative.

Ryan puts a creative spin on the Republican contortions of the last year:

Democracy is a series of choices. We Republicans have made ours.

Have we had our arguments this year? Sure we have – and you know what I call those? Signs of life. Signs of a party that’s not just going through the motions. Not just mouthing new words for the same old stuff.

“Signs of life” – but George W Bush is reportedly wondering whether he was the last Republican president.

Here’s a mental image for you. Ryan:

Next time there’s a State of the Union address, I don’t know where Joe Biden and Barack Obama will be. But you’ll find me right there on the rostrum with Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump.

Paul Ryan is back. He still looks fresh. He’s quaintly formal:

“Delegates, friends, and fellow citizens: I appreciate the privilege of addressing this forty-first convention of the Party of Lincoln.

“As part of my co-chairman duties, let me thank all the people of this beautiful city for looking after us this week. And above all I want to thank the men and women here from law enforcement for your service.”

A crop of freshman Republican senators joins McConnell on the stage, including Dan Sullivan from Alaska who’s now speaking.

Not present: Ben Sasse.

Sullivan says we need to keep the senate in Republican hands.

Notably, he does not mention the name, Donald Trump.

Senator Mitch McConnell is back. He mounts an attack on Clinton.

“At a moment when so many feel betrayed by their government, why in the world would Democrats put forward such a candidate?” he says.

“Hillary has changed her positions so many times it’s impossible to tell where conviction ends and ambition begins.”

“Friends, not since Baghdad Bob has there been a public figure with such a tortured relationship with the truth.

“There is a clear choice before us. And it is not Hillary.”

Trump appears on video feed

Suddenly Donald Trump appears on the huge video screens and he’s talking to the crowd from eight different monitors.

“Melania and I had such a great time last night, an unbelievable evening,” he says, contradicting reports that they were both angry that she plagiarized.

Trump continues:

I’ll never forget it. It’s something I will never ever forget. With your vote today this stage of the presidential process has come to a close. This is a movement but we have to go all the way. I’m so proud to be the nominee for president. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on Thursday night. It’s an honor to be running with Mike Pence.

By the way, we are going to win the state of Ohio. And by the way we are going to win the presidency.

Have a fantastic evening, I’ll see you tomorrow night. I’ll see you on Thursday night, and we will win in November, thank you.

Trump beams into the #RNCinCLE convention.

— Paul Owen (@PaulTOwen) July 20, 2016


Previously seen on the speaker’s platform: the hirsute waterproofing business entrepreneur and Brooklyn native Andy Wist.

Comment from Republicans near me when this guy took the stage: "Does nobody shave any more?" #MakeAmericaShaveAgain

— Paul Owen (@PaulTOwen) July 20, 2016

Next up: Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

He says moms need guns to defend themselves from intruders because calling 911 is too slow.

“A Hillary Clinton supreme court means your right to own a firearm is gone,” Cox says.

What’s so outrageous is that for the rest of her life, Hillary Clinton will never even think about dialing 9-1-1.

For thirty years, she hasn’t taken a walk, a nap or a bathroom break without a good guy with a gun there to protect her.

So it’s easy for her to dismiss a right she will never have to use. But for the rest of us, the choice to own a firearm is ours to make.

And in America, there cannot be one set of rules for the Clintons, and another set for us.

Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson, who’s in an uphill battle for reelection against former senator Russ Feingold, steps up and takes credit for goading Hillary Clinton into asking, at a congressional hearing, “what difference, at this point, does it make?” whether the attack in Benghazi was motivated by an offensive video or other animosity.

Johnson says the distinction applies – somehow, the connection isn’t clear – to other attacks and offenses around the world with a nexus to terrorism:

It makes a difference to the young Yazidi woman I met who was captured and brutalized by ISIS barbarians, the joy of life hauntingly absent in her eyes.

It makes a difference to the travelers, passing through airports in Brussels and Istanbul, who just wanted to get home to their family and friends.

It makes a difference to the ordinary Americans sharing holiday cheer at a Christmas party in San Bernardino.

It makes a difference to the young men and women dancing on a summer night at a club in Orlando.

And it makes a difference to the families watching fireworks at a celebration of freedom in Nice.

The anti-climactic Alaska kerfuffle

A final anti-climatic kerfuffle broke out on the convention floor just as the roll call seemed to be finished, writes Guardian politics reporter Ben Jacobs:

Paul Ryan and RNC Chairman Reince Preibus check with officials after Alaska contested the recording of the roll call of states.
Paul Ryan and RNC Chairman Reince Preibus check with officials after Alaska contested the recording of the roll call of states. Photograph: David Maxwell/EPA

Delegates from Alaska were upset that all of their votes were counted for Trump per an interaction between state party rules which require them to support a candidate if there was only one remaining. The RNC interpreted this to mean if only one candidate has his name placed in nomination – and Alaskans whose votes for delegates were originally allocated 12 for Cruz, 11 for Trump and 5 for Rubio were united in disappointment.

Dan Donley, a former state senator and Cruz supporter, sprinted to the front of the hall to demand the votes be changed. Donley, who said he was voting for Trump in November regardless because of his disdain for Hillary Clinton, felt it was important that the delegation’s vote be counted.

Some members such as Kristie Babcock, a proud Trump supporter, were in tears that this was not happening. A scrum broke out within the delegation as RNC lawyers tried to get a tally of each delegate to see whom they supported and the convention was delayed for 10 minutes as a frenzied count occurred.

But it was all for naught. RNC chairman Reince Priebus said that party rules required all of Alaska’s votes to be cast for Trump. The delegate broke out in boos and anger. The resentment wasn’t directed at Trump but the RNC.

“I think the RNC overreached,” said Babcock. “For the party that complained about federal overreach I think it is disappointing that the RNC overreached and interpreted our own rules for us.”

However, unlike the fight over rules on Monday, there was not any attempt by the Republican to wield a tight leash on the chaos. Trump floor whips seemed unconcerned by the eruption and looked at the brief scene of chaos with a mix of fatigue and insouciance.

Further, even the appearance of disarray could be spun as a seemingly unifying moment. Priebus contrasted it with the events four years ago in Tampa where pro-Ron Paul dissenters were quashed and supporters of the libertarian icon weren’t even allowed to put his name into nomination.


Up next, Bush-era attorney general Michael Mukasey. He says what Clinton did with government secrets “exquisitely sums up the case against her presidency.”

He’s hitting her for her use of private email, a controversy so far alluded to at this convention, in throwaway jokes about basement servers, but not truly explored the way the Benghazi affair was on Monday.

The theme of tonight is Make America Work Again.

Here's Michael Mukasey a few months ago explaining why Trump should never be president

— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 20, 2016


Hundreds of police swarmed Cleveland’s Public Square on Tuesday afternoon as dozens of competing groups from across the political spectrum jostled for attention in the city centre creating occasionally tense and often surreal scenes, writes Oliver Laughland.

Eight militiamen from the radical constitutionalist group the West Ohio Minutemen could be seen patrolling on the square’s north side carrying loaded long guns, as the philosopher and civil rights leader Cornel West strode through the crowds just meters away.

At the square’s south side, less than a dozen members of the religious hate group the Westboro Baptist Church held placards reading: “God hates proud sinners” and “Same sex marriage dooms nations” and said they “hated” both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Stood behind them was the performance artist and libertarian Vermin Supreme, who is also running for president and claimed he could solve America’s political divide by “offering free ponies”.

Although minor scuffles momentarily broke out, prompting a surge of officers, there were no arrests reported at the event. By late afternoon, law enforcement officers, who formed a number of perimeter circles around the square and deployed two lines of officers on horseback, outnumbered protesters by about two to one.

There were reports in local media that some protesters had thrown urine at members of the Westboro Baptist Church, but a spokeswoman for the city of Cleveland said no such event occurred.

Thousands of police from multiple agencies around the US have descended on Cleveland, amid fears of civil unrest in the city during the Republican National Convention. But only five arrests have occurred since Sunday. Three people were arrested earlier on Tuesday after attempting to climb flagpoles in the city’s downtown area. One individual was arrested on Sunday for attempting to steal an officer’s gas mask, while one woman was arrested on Monday on an outstanding felony warrant.

Earlier on Tuesday a group named the “Bible Believers” stood in Public Square, holding signs, which branded “every real Muslim” a “jihadist”, as a single protester, decrying police violence and wearing a handmade T-shirt which read “Tamir Rice only”, a reference to the boy killed by police in 2014, attempted to shout them down to little avail.

A group who only described themselves as “born again Christians” preached on a loudspeaker under signs which read “Now is the day of Salvation” and “Repent (turn from your Sin - to Jesus)“. A young boy, handed a bullhorn by Vermin Supreme, branded them white supremacists.

A small group of police officers, who had remained focused throughout much of the event, cracked a short smile, before resuming their stern glares.

They’re zipping into the speaking schedule. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson is up. He says that in her Arkansas days, Hillary Clinton always wanted bigger government.

“If you like the last 8 years, then Hillary will give you double for your trouble!” he says. He’s not a particularly dynamic speaker and fair portions of the crowd seem to be ignoring him with audible background chatter.

Next up: Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge, who has a thick southern accent. She declares herself a “Christian, pro-life, gun-carrying, conservative woman.” She does not appear to be currently armed.

“Sometimes, Hillary Clinton has a New York accent. Sometimes, an Arkansas accent,” she says. “But y’all….this is what a real Arkansas woman sounds like. Hillary may not know where she’s from, but Arkansans know exactly who she is.”

Here now is Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“I am not a politician, I am a fight promoter. But I was blown away and honored to be invited here tonight,” he says. He says Trump supported the UFC and came to fights and for that he is thankful.

Shorter Dana White: "When nobody would take a chance on a young human-cockfighting promoter, Trump was there.”

— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) July 20, 2016

Sharon Day, co-chair of the RNC, is onstage attacking Hillary Clinton. Addressing Clinton, Day says, “You viciously attacked women that were sexually abused by your husband.”

Ryan 'formally declares' a Trump-Pence GOP ticket

The Republican Party formally nominated Donald Trump and Michael R Pence for president of the United States. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Delegates totals: 1,725 Trump, 475 Cruz, 120 Kasich, 114 Rubio, 7 Carson, 3 Bush, 2 Paul. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Speaker Ryan is back. He’s still saying things like “pursuant to rule 40d...”

Then he makes the nomination formal:

I formally declare Donald J Trump and Michael R Pence the Republican nominees for president and vice president of the United States.

Instead of the band this time they strike up a pastor, who begins a prayer.


They’re done nominating Pence and they strike up the band again. Van Morrison now.

Meanwhile, outside the convention hall, the Guardian’s Oliver Laughland and Mae Ryan have taken in some unusual protest activity:

Vermin Supreme trying to shout down some born again Christians #RNCinCLE

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) July 19, 2016

This is, without a doubt, the most bizarre protest I have ever covered #RNCinCLE

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) July 19, 2016

Nine mounted officers (from multiple agencies) just moved up towards the top of Public Square #RNCinCLE

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) July 19, 2016

Correction: no arrests at Public Square protest today. Three arrested earlier Tuesday morning, trying to climb a flag pole.

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) July 19, 2016

Respect to this young man who is standing up to hate #RNCinCLE

— Mae Ryan (@MaeRyan) July 19, 2016

Found him #RNCinCLE

— Mae Ryan (@MaeRyan) July 19, 2016

Republicans nominate Pence

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is announced. He’s booed? By some restive crowd members.

He’s there to nominate Mike Pence for vice president. Actually he’s there to introduce Indiana lieutenant governor Eric Holcomb.

Holcomb begins to nominate Pence, with an admiring speech.

Republicans nominate Trump

Here’s the final delegates tally:

1,725 Trump, 475 Cruz, 120 Kasich, 114 Rubio, 7 Carson, 3 Bush, 2 Paul

Ryan stumbles over Trump’s name in announcing he’s won:

“The chair announces that Donald day [sic] Trump... has been selected as the Republican party nominee for president of the United States.”

He pounds the gavel. It sounds ominous? Or awesome?

Paul Ryan officialy announces the delegate vote naming Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for President.
Paul Ryan officialy announces the delegate vote naming Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for President. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images


Alaska objection overruled

The chair will yield to the chairman of the RNC for explaining the rules.

Priebus says the rule affects four states. The secretary is required to read the bound vote, he explains. In this case, by the state of Alaska’s own party rules, “the candidates that run, if they drop out, the bound vote gets reallocated to the only candidate left that’s running.”

“In any event have a great night,” he says.

The Alaska votes remain 28 votes Trump, Ryan announces.

The house band keeps going, as the Alaska fracas continues. Funk and disco are the order of the day. Just the soundtrack for a convention rules spat.

We just heard a cover of KC and the Sunshine Band:

Alaska says its vote was misrecorded

Officials directly poll delegates for votes after Alaska contested the results of the roll call of states.
Officials directly poll delegates for votes after Alaska contested the results of the roll call of states. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA

“Does any state wish to cast its vote or to change its votes?” Ryan asks.

Alaska speaks up. The secretary recorded 28 votes for Trump. But the delegate chairman says the vote was misrecorded; it wanted to give 12 votes to Cruz, in keeping with the result of its nominating contest.

The delegate chairman is peeved.

“We were notified of anything different by the RNC. We were never consulted... our attorney wasn’t consulted. We were never told that you were going to miscount our votes tonight!” he says.

Ryan handles it smoothly. Are you requesting a poll? he asks. Ooh, suddenly Reince Priebus is on stage.

“I’m requesting a poll of the delegation of Alaska and that those votes be recorded at this convention,” the delegate says.

Ryan reads from a paper. “Accordingly, convention staff will report to the delegation to record the poll.”

Strike up the band! They literally strike up the band. And a bunch of TV cameras surround the Alaska guy.


Paul Ryan returns to the lectern, and just stands there smiling. He’s waiting on something. He’s folded his arms. Does a shoulder shrug. Points at a a person. Waves at a person.

Florida delegates punch the air when they are announced.
Florida delegates punch the air when they are announced. Photograph: John Locher/AP


The states and territories, continued:

Puerto Rico: The 51st state? 23 Rubio

Rhode Island: Founded by Roger Williams in 1631 based on complete religious toleration. So: 12 votes for Trump. 2 Cruz, 5 Kasich

South Carolina: Palmetto state that always shows amazing grace. The true Peach state (pace Georgia) and inventor of BBQ. 50 votes Trump

South Dakota: “Home of Crazy Horse, Mt Rushmore and other great faces and great places.” 29 votes Trump

Tennessee: The Volunteer state. No income tax. Jobs growth, auto manufacturing. Our pro-life state proudly casts our vote. 16 Cruz, 9 Rubio, 33 Trump

Texas: Greatest job creating state in the country (come now they can’t all be). Where every Texan has the back of our law enforcement officers. 3 Rubio; 104 Cruz; 48 Trump

US Virgin Islands: One of the five US territories where loyal Americans are second-class citizens. Home of Alexander Hamilton and Tim Duncan. 8 votes Trump 1 abstention

Utah: the state that has its priorities straight: god, family, country. “We are always Republican, now today and forever.” Lest there be any doubt. 40 Cruz (but they to Trump).

Vermont: Home of Calvin Coolidge, who said, “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.” 1 Kasich, 2 Paul, 13 Trump

Virginia: “a digital Dominion.” A commonwealth of opportunity. First Indian-American delegate. 3 votes Carson, 5 Kasich, 8 Cruz, 16 Rubio, 17 Trump

Washington: “the Evergreen state, we are standing tall.” Volcanoes, Columbia River, wheat fields and Boeing. They are wearing funny tree hats. 44 for Trump

West Virginia: Coal miners for Trump. First state to recognize Melania Trump as the next first lady. “A lot better than Bill Clinton.” Home to Sam Sneed, Sam Huff, 34 Trump

Wisconsin: Home to Reince Priebus AND Paul Ryan. And look here’s Scott Walker. “I’m Scott Walker, go Packers, go Harleys.” 36 Cruz 6 Trump

Wyoming; Home of Reagan conservatives, the majestic Tetons and Cheyenne frontier days; a leading producer of low-sulphur coal. “Energy titan.” 1 Rubio, 2 Kasich, 23 Cruz, 3 Trump

Michigan: America’s comeback state. We are so committed to turn our state red that we were willing to wear Ohio state colors. Home of president Gerald Ford, Gordie Howe, from Mackinac to Motown, from UP to the big three. 2 Kasich, 6 Cruz, 51 Trump

Pennsylvania: Home of Pat Toomey and the “state that will deliver the deciding 20 electoral votes” in November. 70 Trump, 1 Cruz

Delegates from Texas raise their hats in support of Senator Ted Cruz during the roll call.
Delegates from Texas raise their hats in support of Senator Ted Cruz during the roll call. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

The states and territories, continued:

Ohio: You are in us. O-H! O-H! The mother of presidents. 66 votes for Kasich

Oklahoma: heartland of America and reddest state in the union (pace Idaho). Energy and agriculture. 19 votes for Cruz, 24 for Trump

Oregon: The land of unrivalled natural beauty, the great American pinot noir, Tillamook cheese and hazelnuts. The place where Nike made ducks and beavers cool. 23 Trump, 5 Cruz

Pennsylvania: home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. defers to New York.

New York (again): the Empire State. Trump kids are standing there. Donald J Trump Jr speaks. (Are the other children, not having been registered Republicans at the time of New York’s primary, qualified to speak on behalf of the delegation?)

“We’re gonna put New York into play this time around,” Trump Jr promises. There are 89 delegates for Trump and 6 for Kasich. “Congratulations dad we love you!” Trump Jr yells, and the three children share an awkward hug initiated for the record by Eric.

The video screen revs up, as does the band doing an instrumental of Sinatra, New York, New York. There are wandering spotlights worthy of the Rainbow Room in its heyday. The video screen says “Over the top,” which definitely captures it.

That goes on for a while.


The states and territories, continued:

Massachusetts: outperformed every other state but one to Make America Great Again. Cruz 4; Kasich 8; Rubio 8; Trump 22

Michigan: “Madam secretary, Michigan passes.” Huh.

Minnesota: Home of 10,000 lakes, home of Spam, and home of the late, great Prince. Rubio 17; Cruz 13; Trump 8

Mississippi: Birthplace of America’s music. 15 votes Cruz, 25 Trump

Missouri: Home Kansas City Royals, pace Kansas. And St Louis Cardinals. The birthplace of talk radio., Phylis Schlafly, Ragtime music. 41 votes Trump 11 Cruz

Montana: “the quiet beauty of our state, grandeur of mountains, vastness of rolling plains. 27 delegates for Trump

Nebraska: The Good Life, Silicon Prairie, Huskers (GBR), #1 beef producer in the union, where word is bond. 36 votes Trump

Nevada: Great shores of Tahoe to Vegas entertainment. This time what’s said in Vegas will not stay there–1 Kasich, 6 Cruz, 7 Rubio, 14 Trump 2 Carson

New Hampshire: My name is Corey Lewandowski. (Cheers!). Live free or die and no sales or income tax. 2 votes Rubio, 3 Bush, 3 Cruz, 4 Kasich. “And 11 votes for my friend and the next president of the United States,” Trump.

New Jersey: I’m Andrew Christie (son of governor). The Garden state. The state that cast the highest overall percentage of its popular vote for Mr Trump. 51 delegates Trump

New Mexico: I’m governor Susana Martinez. Beautiful, exciting and diverse. Land of Enchantment. But Martinez hands off the announcement: 24 votes for Trump

New York: The Empire State and the home of Donald J Trump – passes.

North Carolina: The land of the long-leaf pine, where summer sun doth shine. Home of Billy Graham. 1 Carson, 6 Rubio, 9 Kasich, 27 Cruz, 29 Trump

North Dakota: Home of the FCS football champions the ND State University Bison. Only state in USA last year to grow younger. 1 Carson, 6 Cruz, 21 Trump

Northern Mariana islands: The weather is 85 degrees all year round but it’s 7,000 miles away. 9 delegates for Trump

California delegate Kim Davis cheers during roll call on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18
California delegate Kim Davis cheers during roll call on the second day. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

The states and territories, continued:

Guam: “tip of the spear of American might. The piece of America in Asia. 9 delegates for Trump

Hawaii: Mahalo. Aloha. Maui. Hawaii. 11 delegates Trump. 7 Cruz. 1 Rubio

Idaho: Famous potatoes. “We are so Republican that when we say the pledge of allegiance, it’s to the Republicans for which it stands.” 20 Cruz, 12 votes Trump

Illinois: Finest governor in our nation. 6 delegates for Kasich, 9 for Cruz, 54 for Trump

Indiana: Mike Pence is from here. $2bn surplus. Jobs. 57 votes for Trump

Iowa: Go Hawks. Country’s two hardest-working senators and longest-serving governor. 30 votes for Trump

Kansas: Home of the greatest fans of the reigning World Series champs Kansas City Royals, plus Bob Dole. 9 votes for Trump 24 Cruz 6 Rubio 1 Kasich

Kentucky: Bluegrass state. Home of Churchill downs and American Pharoah, and Bill Monroe. “The state that produces all the bourbon fit to drink in the world.” 17 Trump 7 Rubio 7 Kasich 15 Cruz

Louisiana: Sportsman’s paradise. (That’s it.) 15 votes for Cruz, 31 votes Trump

Maine: Home of rugged coastlines, beautiful forests, pristine lakes and Paul LePage. 12 Cruz, 9 Trump, 2 Kasich

Maryland: America in miniature and beautiful Chesapeake Bay, birthplace of national anthem and home of Orioles. 38 votes Trump


The roll call of states involves the secretaries going around to the chairperson of each state delegation. The chairperson announces the delegates split for each state and adds a little propaganda for the state.

Below are the totals for each state with the juiciest bit of propaganda:

Alabama: great college football team (booed). 36 votes Trump, 13 Cruz, 1 Rubio

Alaska: more coastline than the whole continental USA. 28 votes for Trump

American Samoa: “the greatest exporter of NFL players”. 9 delegates to Trump

Arizona: “hottest state in the country for job growth”. 58 votes forTrump

Arkansas: “land of opportunity and birthplace of Johnny Cash and Al Green”. 15 for Cruz, 25 for Trump

California: “100% rock solid Donald Trump delegation”. 172 votes Trump.

Colorado: “where the plains meet the Rocky Mountains on god’s most beautiful piece of real estate”. 31 votes Cruz, 2 abstain, 4 Trump

Connecticut: “home of Pez, nuclear submarines and the home of the WWE, where the men are men and the women are champions.” 28 votes Trump

Delaware: we’re going to elect Hans Reigle to congress. 16 votes for Trump

Washington, DC: home of Fredrick Douglass and capital of the greatest country in the world. 10 votes Rubio, 9 votes for Kasich (but all 19 go to Trump)

Florida: “home to Disneyworld, the Daytona 500 and the lovely Florida Keys” 99 delegates for Trump. 99 votes for Trump

Georgia: peach state. No.1 state for business and business growth. 16 Rubio, 18 Cruz, 42 votes Trump


Ryan shushes the crowd like an affectionate father. Why not gavel them? He tells people they should remain civil during the roll call of states.

Secretary of the convention Susie Hudson and the assistant secretary take the lectern to conduct the roll call of states.

Buffalo Springfield posing here with Neil Young.
Buffalo Springfield posing here with Neil Young. Photograph: Redferns/Getty Images

McMaster now hitches the anti-war folk lyrics of Buffalo Springfield to the Trump clause. He says:

To paraphrase one of the great American poets of our time, Buffalo Springfield.

There’s something happening here. And what it is is precisely clear: We are going to make America great again!


McMaster says “the sleeping giant of the American spirit has been awakened.”

“Let me tell you what I know. Donald Trump is a remarkable man... he may be the only man perfectly equipped to win the ferocious battle ahead.”

“Perhaps you have not heard the people, the men the women the old the young, crying, ‘I love you Donald,’ and him answering, ‘I love you too.’

“You must have glimpsed his tenderness last night with Melania.

“We know this man loves his family, and he is walking away from a business enterprise few could imagine, because he loves this country.”

South Carolina lieutenant governor Henry McMaster takes the stage. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a dream,” he says. “This is the real thing. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

He boasts about being the first elected official in the United States to endorse Donald Trump. He also seconds the nomination.

Some of the delegates rise to their feet to clap but most stay seated.

Collins seconds the nomination. An impressive roar from the crowd, followed by a “Trump! Trump!” chant. If there misgivings on the floor about the nomination that’s about to happen, they are not audible.

Representative Chris Collins of New York is next. He smiles at the New York delegation who are at his feet in the front row center. They are visibly dressed in darker colors than every other delegation.

Sessions nominates Trump for president

Senator Jeff Sessions places Donald Trump’s name in nomination
Senator Jeff Sessions places Donald Trump’s name in nomination Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Sessions goes on: “I have come to believe that Donald Trump is the singular leader that can get this country back on track.”

“Let me tell you about the Donald Trump I’ve come to know.... He’s positive by nature. He has tremendous energy and strength. He is a warrior and a winner. He loves his country and he is determined to see it to be a winner again.”

Then he nominates Trump for president.

Ryan returns. “Off to a good start,” he says.


Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is now delivering a pep talk for Trump. He says Trump is a fearless leader who stepped into a gap left by the current president.

“The American voters heard this message and they rewarded his courage and his leadership with a huge victory in our primaries,” Sessions says. Trump won the lowest percentage of the Republican primary vote of any successful candidate in the modern era.

Paul Ryan delivers lecture on rules

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan bangs the gavel for the opening of the second day.
Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, bangs the gavel for the opening of the second day. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Here all of a sudden is Paul Ryan. He delivers a short lecture about rules requirements guiding the nominations process. There have been whispers of a last-minute effort by Ted Cruz supporters to put his name forward for the nomination. A move that appears to be contravened by the rules and primary election results.

“Hey, Wisconsin! Ryan begins.

“It is an honor to be here. Before we begin I would like to remind the delegates of the provisions of the rules” requiring basic support for any nominee put forward for the presidency.

“The chair wishes to inform the delegates at this time that [proof that requirements were met] has been furnished in a timely manner... in compliance with the rules of the convention” to nominate the president and vice president, he says.

Ryan hits the gavel.


Day 2 gaveled in

RNC chairman Reince Priebus gavels the convention to order.

The delegates floor is full, except half of Connecticut is missing. Florida looks like they had a fun lunch, lots of dancing just then to the covers band, which opened with REO Speedwagon’s Roll With the Changes. Michigan has jerseys today.

As band strikes up at #RNCinCLE interesting to speculate which state delegations have hit the sauce. Florida are, er, getting into the music

— Dan Roberts (@RobertsDan) July 19, 2016


Clinton compares Trump to the Wizard of Oz

Last night in Cleveland was surreal. I kept thinking, what’s this like? And then I thought, you know when I was a little girl, I went to see, when they re-issued it, the movie Wizard of Oz. And there were similarities that appear to me. Lots of sound and fury, even a fog machine, but when you pulled back the curtain, it was just Donald Trump, with nothing to offer to the American people.

Hillary Clinton compares Donald Trump to the Wizard of Oz

Melania Trump’s speech as delivered did not resemble Melania Trump’s speech as prepared by the professional writers hired to do the job, the Washington Post reports.

So who got involved meanwhile?

Trump campaign asked Matt Scully, John McConnell to draft Melania speech. They did. Speech Monday bore almost no resemblance to the draft.

— Dan Balz (@danbalz) July 19, 2016

You can’t fire the candidate’s spouse.

Breaking: I just interviewed P. Manafort. He says Melania told him all words hers. Me: "Why not fire the speechwriter?" PM: "I believe her."

— Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) July 19, 2016

#NeverTrump delegates are circulating a document that they say “makes clear the options delegates to the GOP national convention have to vote their conscience on the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination.”

The official nomination of Donald Trump will take place at the Quicken Loans Arena tonight at 7 pm EDT - unless the majority of eight state delegations elect to nominate Ted Cruz.

Rick Perry: Melania Trump speech controversy a 'bait-and-switch'

In an interview with WABC Radio host Rita Cosby, Texas governor and two-time presidential candidate Rick Perry dismissed allegations that Melania Trump plagiarized sections of first lady Michelle Obama’s speech in front of the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Rick Perry
Rick Perry Photograph: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock

“I’m kind of stunned that that’s the, what the focus of the media is today,” Perry said, dismissing the issue of Melania Trump’s use of several paragraphs from Obama’s speech in her remarks to the Republican National Convention last night as a fixation of “talking heads.”

“Her speech was spot-on from the standpoint of being able to have a real focus on the things that are important. She talked about the man that’s she is married to, she talked about his love of family, she talked about America, and what being an American is all about. You know, if Michelle Obama wants to say, ‘Oh, that’s... that’s only my issue’, then I... kindly disagree.”

The first lady has not yet remarked on the controversy.

“It’s that old bait and switch,” Perry insisted. “It’s kind of like, ‘Don’t pay any attention to the little man behind the curtain’ kind of mentality, if you will. I thought she did an excellent job of talking about this country, about her husband, and about the future.”

Although Cleveland is the most fortified city in America at the moment, with thousands of police, FBI and secret service agents securing the Republican national convention, David – who won’t give me his last name but says he is from Minnesota – worries about “agitators” and “thugs” who make him feel unsafe.

“We [Bikers for Trump] protect the police as much as the police protect us,” he claims.

Bikers for Trump are a self-described vigilante collective that has come to Cleveland, Ohio, for the Republican national convention. In Ohio it’s legal to openly carry licensed firearms, and some of the bikers have been outspoken in their desire to freely show their weapons at the convention.

But many officers in Cleveland would likely disagree with David’s assessment. On Sunday, following the fatal shooting of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the head of the city’s largest police union, Steve Loomis, called on Ohio governor John Kasich to temporarily rescind the right to open carry in the city, arguing those who did jeopardized the safety of officers.

Bikers for Trump at RNC openly carry guns

“It’s irresponsible of those folks – especially right now – to be coming downtown with open carry AR [assault rifle]s or anything else. I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not,” Loomis said.

Following the deaths of five police officers at a protest march in Dallas earlier in the month, local officials expressed frustration that up to 20 marchers had open carried during the protest, leading to widespread confusion during the massacre over how many people had opened fire.

Video: Three women were arrested this afternoon after climbing a 60ft flagpole near the site of the Republican national convention and hanging a banner protesting against the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump. The banner read: Don’t Trump our communities’ and also included an anti-fracking message

Anti-Trump activists scale 60ft flagpole to hang banner

Joseph Schmitz, a foreign policy and national security adviser to Donald Trump, has denied that his campaign was made to look like “amateur hour” by the Melania Trump speech controversy.

Donald and Melania Trump.
Donald and Melania Trump. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

“If you are listening to somebody saying last night was ‘amateur hour’, you apparently didn’t watch it because I was there, I saw the whole thing,” he told reporters at the Foreign Press Center in Cleveland. “I’ve seen other conventions. It was not amateur hour at all. It was very, very well put together. It was very substantive and very effective.”

But Anita McBride, former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush, told the same press conference that Melania Trump “went to bed last night with a victory, and she woke up with a controversy, and the one thing a presidential spouse never wants to do it really be the subject of controversy or be a distraction”.

McBride stopped short of calling for the staff member involved in plagiarising part of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to be fired. But she said: “The bottom line answer to that is that this is poor staff work and they did not serve her well. One thing campaigns make mistake of over and over again is not give the appropriate support to the spouse.

“I’m sure that won’t happen again if she chooses to go out and make speeches; I hope she does because I think she was very effective. But clearly there was not enough fact checking.”

McBride, an executive in residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, added: “At the end of the day, when you’re delivering that speech, those words are yours and you own it. Is there a process that goes into helping develop the themes? Absolutely.

“I know from experience in a campaign for the spouse it’s a very lean staff, if at all. I think this underscores that there needs to be an infrastructure around Mrs Trump if she’s going to continue to be used as a reflection of her husband and as a surrogate.”

Former Joanie Loves Chachi star Scott Baio sat down for a contentious interview with MSNBC’s Tamron Hall in Cleveland today after he was grilled about tweeting - and subsequently defending - a tweet containing a photo calling Hillary Clinton an offensive term.

On this meme he tweeted, @ScottBaio tells @DanaBashCNN, "You can look at it any way you want." #RNCinCLE

— Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) July 19, 2016

“Did you think about that in church when you tweeted it out?” Hall asked.

Baio reiterated a point he has made on other occasions, that the photograph can be taken any way by its beholder.

“You can look at it any way you want,” Baio said. “It’s the word ‘count,’ that’s what she’s standing in front of - I just put it up there. There’s no commentary attached to it, I didn’t call her anything, and the fact that you question my faith over putting up a picture is not nice.”

Hall pointed out other sexist tweets the actor has posted, including a cartoon photo of Michelle Obama with the caption, “Wow, he wakes up to this every morning.”

“Does joking about a woman that way make America great again?” Hall asked, echoing Donald Trump’s campaign slogan and Baio’s own words from his address to the Republican National Convention last night. “Does that make America America again?”

Video: The Trump campaign has consistently downplayed allegations of plagiarism relating to Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican national convention last night. At a briefing this morning, Donald Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort said that Melania Trump’s words were “personal to her,” and condemned any criticisms as politically motivated.

Campaign manager defends Melania Trump’s RNC speech

Oliver Laughland reports from outside the so-called “Ring of Steel,” where religious protests are heating up:

"God is alright and you are always wrong," says man on loudspeaker wearing a "Muhammad is in hell" t-shirt #RNCinCLE

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) July 19, 2016

He is with a group called "bible believers". Second speaker now telling angry crowd that "prostitutes go to hell". #RNCinCLE

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) July 19, 2016

The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs and Dan Roberts have more on the plagiarism scandal that threatens to overshadow Donald Trump’s nomination.

Melania Trump and Michelle Obama.
Melania Trump and Michelle Obama. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Republicans scrambled to prevent a plagiarism scandal from overshadowing the coronation of Donald Trump today after his wife Melania borrowed large chunks of her opening night speech from Michelle Obama.

Campaign officials did not deny the similarities between Trump’s speech to party delegates at the GOP convention in Cleveland and near identical segments delivered by the first lady during the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver – arguing instead that the words used were commonplace.

As delegates prepared to formally offer Donald Trump the party’s presidential nomination on Tuesday evening, the plagiarism controversy reopened internal wounds and undermined his campaign’s attempts to present a more polished appearance ahead of November’s general election.

A campaign source said responsibility for the plagiarism incident lay with a longtime aide to top Trump strategist Paul Manafort. The source said the aide had signed off on the speech and edited it.

Manafort declined to comment on the allegation during a rumbustious briefing with reporters on Tuesday morning, insisting instead that Trump’s use of commonplace language should not lessen the impact of her words.

Compare Melania Trump’s speech with Michelle Obama’s 2008 address

Privately, Trump was said to be furious at seeing his wife’s rare speaking engagement ruined, and his few senior allies in the party rushed to seek ever more elaborate explanations.

The incident threatens to overshadow Trump’s attempt to show a polished and united face after angry scenes on the convention floor earlier in the day when “Never Trump” rebels staged one last attempt to block his nomination.

On Tuesday, the convention was expecting to hear from House speaker Paul Ryan, who has yet to endorse Trump and has expressed concerns over comments from the presumptive nominee he said showed signs of “textbook racism”.

A chaotic convention schedule on Monday meant that retired general Mike Flynn, leading chants of “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton, forced rising Republican star Joni Ernst out of a primetime slot.

Ernst, a telegenic first-term senator from Iowa who recently retired from the army national guard as a lieutenant colonel, spoke after 11pm to an emptied convention center. Ernst was one of the few prominent elected officials to agree to speak at the convention and the scheduling snafu represented an unintentional insult and yet another sign of disorganization within the campaign.

RNC speakers lists want to 'Make America Work Again'

We’re on our way to the Quicken Loans Arena, where convention speeches and delegate meetings officially take place - the approximately 15,000 members of the press covering the Republican National Convention are officially at the Huntington Convention Center ten minutes away - but here’s a quick rundown of the speakers set to address tonight’s convention.

Tiffany Trump.
Tiffany Trump. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Ranging from soap opera stars-turned-avocado farmers to former candidates for the Republican nomination, tonight’s speakers will largely - though not exclusively - focus on the economy, promising a Republican ticket that will “deliver real results that level the playing field and get Americans working again.”

The official roster of speakers, in loose order:

  • Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, a cage-fighting league or “mixed martial arts competition,” depending on your view.
  • Arkansas governor Asa Hutchison.
  • Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge, the first woman elected to the position.
  • Former attorney Michael B. Mukasey.
  • Andy Wist, founder of the Standard Waterproofing Company, the largest roofing, waterproofing, and landmark restoration companies in New York City.
  • Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson.
  • Chris Cox, executive director of NRA Institute for Legislative Action, the NRA’s political arm.
  • Natalie Gulbis, a professional golfer.
  • Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky.
  • House speaker Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin.
  • House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, of California.
  • New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
  • Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump’s 22-year-old daughter.
  • Kerry Woolard, the general manager of Trump Winery.
  • Donald Trump, Jr., Donald Trump’s son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization.
  • West Virginia senator Shelley Moore Capito.
  • Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
  • Kimberlin Brown, a soap opera actor who runs an avocado farm.

In addition to their remarks, Ryan and McConnell will lead the convention’s formal nomination of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, which will occur at roughly 7 pm EDT.

Top RNC strategist uses My Little Pony to defend Melania Trump

Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee’s chief strategist, cited the popular animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as proof that would-be first lady Melania Trump’s primetime speech before the Republican National Convention last night did not feature paragraphs plagiarized from first lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech before the Democratic National Convention.

Melania Trump.
Melania Trump. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Spicer, appearing on CNN, argued that Twilight Sparkle, a winged purple unicorn and the central character in the series, has expressed similar sentiments regarding turning dreams into reality.

“When it comes to the speech, let’s actually put this in perspective,” Spicer said. “In a 2,000-word statement, we’re talking about 70 words, three passages. Melania Trump said, ‘you work hard for what you get in life.’ John Legend said, ‘work hard to be anything you want in life.’ Kid Rock said, ‘work hard to be anything you want in life.’”

“Melania Trump said ‘the strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them,’” Spicer explained. “Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony said, ‘this is your dream - anything you can do in your dreams, you can do now.’”

“I mean, if we want to take a bunch of phrases and run them through Google and see who else has said them, I could come up with a list in five minutes.”


Oh, dear.

Pretty sure a former Cabinet secretary just confused me with @BobbyJindal.

— Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) July 19, 2016

Melania Trump is reportedly “furious” about the debacle regarding her primetime speech to the Republican National Convention last night, according to CNN’s John King, but there is a silver lining: The balloon-arm dress she wore to deliver her remarks sold out online within an hour of her speech.

Melania Trump.
Melania Trump. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

According to the New York Daily News, online retailer sold out of the $2,190 white Roksanda dress - nicknamed ‘The Margot’ - an hour after Melania Trump concluded her much ballyhooed speech.

The Margot is “a beautiful option for the modern bride,” according to its description.

Hillary Clinton is now hosting a Facebook Live stream of staffers attempting to read all of Donald Trump’s reported 5,000 lawsuits in less than four hours.

It’s not riveting viewing, but it’s #content!

Eleven members of the California delegation to the Republican National Convention are reportedly sick with norovirus, according to StatNews, adding injury to insult for a delegation that has a long history of being neglected by at RNCs.

“We’ve got about 11 who have been sick over the last few days, and we’ve been out there every day and working with them to eliminate the spread [between] the resort and the delegation from California,” Erie County health commissioner Peter Schade told StatNews. The resort in question is located in Sandusky, Ohio, more than an hour from the Quicken Loans Arena.

Highly contagious, noroviruses cause explosive bouts of what our mothers would insist on us calling “digestive distress,” lasting for up to three days. Fortunately for the California delegation, their main role in the convention - the nomination of Donald Trump - will be accomplished at 7 pm EDT tonight.

Ivanka Trump told an interviewer this morning that the non-participation by senior Republican figures in the national party convention was not hurtful and it was up to them whether they wanted to “be part of the future.”

Both former presidents Bush and former presidential nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain have chosen to sit out the convention in Cleveland, where Donald Trump was to be nominated for president on Tuesday evening.

In an interview with Good Morning America, Ivanka Trump echoed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who told reporters on Monday that the Bushes were “part of the past.”

“That’s their choice,” Trump said of the absentee party elders. “If they don’t want to be part of the narrative, if they don’t want to be part of the future – that this really is about a forward-looking moment.”

Trump tied lackluster enthusiasm for the proceedings in Cleveland to the hard-fought primary season battle, which concluded months ago.

“My father is an outsider, and we went through a very tough primary, and he emerged from that the winner, but there were certainly ruffled feathers along the way,” she said.

Trump has won the support of some party elders. Bob Dole, the 1996 presidential nominee, watched speeches in Cleveland Monday evening, as did former House speaker Newt Gingrich.


Very good speech by @MichelleObama--and under great pressure--Dems should be proud!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2012

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN this morning that if successor Paul Manafort were the person who approved Melania Trump’s apparently plagiarized speech at the Republican National Convention, “he would resign.”

Corey Lewandowski says staffer who wrote Melania Trump's speech should be fired

— CNN (@CNN) July 19, 2016

Lewandowski, who was forced out of the campaign he helped shepherd to the brink of the Republican nomination, told CNN’s Kate Bolduan that Manafort “needs to take a deep look” at how lines from Michelle Obama’s speech to the 2008 Democratic National Convention found their way into Melania Trump’s speech last night.

“I think Paul needs to take a deep look inside and understand what the process was, make sure the protocols were in place, make sure that there is a check-and-balance of every speech that’s gonna go forward, and whoever signed off, with the final sign-off, that allowed this to go forward, should be held accountable,” Lewandowski said.

When asked what the consequences would be if Manafort himself signed off on the final version of Melania Trump’s speech, he did not mince words: “I think if it was Paul Manafort, he’d do the right thing and resign.”

“If he was the last person who saw this, and saw this happen, and has brought this on the candidate’s wife, I think he would resign, ’cause I think that’s the type of person he would be.”

Reince Priebus, the chair of the Republican National Committee, has also suggested that he would “probably” fire the speechwriter in charge.

A Donald Trump supporter with a primetime speaking slot at the Republican national convention, who is billed as a small business owner employing more than 100,000 people, is actually a “multi-level marketer” who does not employ anyone.

Michelle Van Etten was personally invited by the Trump campaign to address the Republican party gathering in Cleveland, Ohio, during a pro-business session on Wednesday evening titled Make America First Again.

The official schedule for the convention states: “Michelle employs over 100,000 people and is a strong supporter of Donald Trump, knowing his policies will support businesses all across America.”

In an interview on Monday, however, Van Etten said the billing was incorrect. “I don’t employ,” she said, adding that she did not know who wrote the text.

Stadium-rock icons Queen have issued a succinct statement on Donald Trump’s use of We Are The Champions during his entrance at the Republican National Convention last night, expressing displeasure with the song’s use for political purposes.

An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes - Queen

— Queen (@QueenWillRock) July 19, 2016

Many Twitter users last night remarked on the apparent irony of using the song to showcase Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, when the anthem was originally sung and written by Freddie Mercury, Queen’s flamboyant lead vocalist who - they postulate - likely would not have been a fan of Trump’s.

Since it’s Tuesday and we’re on our second cup of coffee, here’s Don’t Stop Me Now, the greatest, gayest rock song ever written:


Not bad!

#RNCinCLE so far 5 arrests, all minor incidents.

— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) July 19, 2016

Trump campaign chairman: There is a 'political tint' to plagiarism accusations

At a press briefing, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort responded bluntly to questions regarding Melania Trump’s convention speech, saying that there was “a political tint” to the accusations of plagiarism and that the would-be first-lady’s speech was “the highlight of the convention.”

Paul Manafort.
Paul Manafort. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

“We think that Melania Trump’s speech was a great speech - it talked about her coming to America... immigration and the right way to do it,” Manafort said. “These are themes that are personal to her, but they are personal to a lot of people depending on their lives.”

“The fact that the speech itself is being focused on... is totally ignoring the facts of the speech itself. The speech was a poignant speech.”

Manafort implied that any similarities - or word-for-word reiterations - were coincidental. “Those are not extraordinary words,” Manafort said. “There’s a political tint to this whole issue.”

“She did a tremendous job last night - this is a woman who doesn’t speak very often in public,” Manafort said. “She said that it was important to her, personally, that they understand the compassionate side of Donald Trump, the human side of Donald Trump... and she communicated that beautifully last night.”

Manafort testily brushed off follow-up questions on the issue.


Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon and world’s worst campaign surrogate, told reporters this morning that if Melania Trump indeed plagiarized her convention speech from first lady Michelle Obama, it’s an indication that Americans across the political spectrum “share the same values.”

“If Melania’s speech is similar to Michelle Obama’s speech, that should make us all very happy because we should be saying, rather than we’re Democrats or Republicans, we share the same values,” Carson said, according to Politico.

“If we happen to share values, we should celebrate that, not try to make it into a controversy,” Carson continued.

Carson is one of the headlining speakers tonight during the convention’s primetime program, during which he will presumably deliver Barack Obama’s career-making 2004 convention speech out of a sense of shared patriotism.

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort appears to be shifting gears regarding Melania Trump’s convention speech last night, telling TIME that Reince Priebus’ instinct to fire the speechwriter responsible may be on the money.

Just in from Paul Manafort re Melania speech: "Frankly if I knew somebody did it, I'd fire them too"

— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) July 19, 2016

Earlier today, Manafort insisted to multiple news outlets that the would-be first lady’s speech was not plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.

“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech,” Manafort told CNN’s Chris Cuomo this morning. “These were common words and values that she cares about her fmaily and things like that. I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night, she knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy. I mean, it’s so - I mean, this is, once again, an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work.”


Reince Priebus, the chair of the Republican National Committee, told reporters at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast this morning that if he were in charge, he’d likely fire the writer in charge of Melania Trump’s apparently plagiarized convention speech.

Reince Priebus.
Reince Priebus. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Priebus said that he had not seen video of the speech, but did not blame the would-be first lady for multiple paragraphs that appear to replicate Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech nearly verbatim.

“Certainly, I don’t blame her for any of that,” Priebus said, before saying that he would “probably” fire the speechwriter.

“It all kinda depends on the circumstances and how these things are written,” he continued, saying that until he sees the video, he’s uncertain whether the word-for-word passages echoing the current first lady’s remarks qualify as plagiarism.

“I don’t have a view yet, but I may later this morning.”

Republican national convention: day two

Good morning, and welcome to the Guardian’s campaign live blog, coming at you live from Cleveland, Ohio, the site of the long-anticipated Republican national convention.

Donald and Melania Trump.
Donald and Melania Trump. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

After a long first day that featured walkouts from the convention floor, a headliner speech to a nearly empty room, accusations of plagiarism from the would-be first lady and just a single arrest, the presidential campaign is hoping to make a fresh start with the second day’s program. Today’s theme: “Make America Work Again”, featuring a roster of speakers who will be largely focused on the failures of what Donald Trump has called the “Obama-Clinton economy”, including House speaker Paul Ryan, soap opera star Kimberlin Brown, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Trump Winery general manager Kimberly Woolard, retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson and two of Trump’s children, Tiffany and Donald Jr.

We’ll have more on the full roster of speakers as the day progresses, but before the day kicks off with a presser from Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, here’s the news you need to know from the campaign trail:

  • Paul Manafort, campaign chairman for Donald Trump and unofficial master of ceremonies at this week’s convention, reportedly told CNN that despite multiple passages of Melania Trump’s primetime speech seeming like word-for-word repetitions of Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic national convention, the candidate’s wife and his team did not plagiarize. “There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech,” Manafort said.

Just talked to Paul Manafort. He says there was no plagiarism, the lines from Melania Trump's speech weren't lifted.

— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) July 19, 2016
  • Jason Miller, the campaign’s senior communications advisor and Trump’s speechwriter, issued a statement at 2am that appeared to cop to including “fragments” of others’ speeches that “reflected her own thinking”, although his description of Melania Trump’s “team” runs counter to the would-be first lady’s own statements to the media prior to the speech. In a conversation with NBC’s Matt Lauer, Melania Trump claimed to have written the speech herself.

In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.

  • And the most popular tweet of yesterday’s convention is ...

Republicans have a lot of nice things to say—when it's not an election year. Thanks, Mayor Giuliani. #RNCinCLE

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 19, 2016

Caught up? Good – now on with the show ...



Tom McCarthy and Scott Bixby in Cleveland

The GuardianTramp

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