United States President Donald Trump formally accepted his renomination for president and blasted his rival, Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a lengthy speech as he rounded out the Republican National Convention.
Speakers during the week painted a picture of Trump as inclusive of women, family, immigrants and Black Americans at a time of deep political division within the nation.
The convention was being held as protests and violence shook Kenosha, Wisconsin in the wake of a police shooting of a Black man. A 17-year-old white teenager has been charged with murder after two other people were shot dead and another seriously wounded during the protests.
Here are the latest updates:
03:40 GMT – Fireworks display
Trump’s 70-minute speech in front of some 2,000 largely mask-less supporters, was capped with “Trump 2020” spelled out in fireworks with the Washington monument as a backdrop.
The fireworks continued as the crowd cheered and music including a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was playing.
A live Opera band then performed music from La Boheme.
Fireworks display during the final event of the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]
03:20 GMT – Trump addresses Kenosha
Trump addressed the violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a lakeside city has been rocked by civil unrest since Sunday, when police shot Jacob Blake, 29, in the back at close range. The incident, captured on video, has reignited protests over racism and police use of force, prompting the Milwaukee Bucks – an NBA team from Wisconsin – to boycott a play-off game.
A teenager identified as Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with homicide after gunfire killed two people and wounded a third during protests over the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha in the US state of Wisconsin.
Kenosha, Wisconsin, a lakeside city has been rocked by civil unrest since Sunday, when police shot Jacob Blake, 29, in the back at close range [Brandon Bell/Getty Images/AFP]
“In the strongest possible terms, the Republican Party condemns the rioting, looting, arson and violence we have seen in Democrat-run cities all like Kenosha, Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago, and New York and many others – Democrat-run,” Trump said.
“If the Democrat Party wants to stand with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag burners, that is up to them,” he added, “but I, as your president, will not be a part of it. The Republican Party will remain the voice of the patriotic heroes who keep America safe and salute the American flag.”
Read more on what’s happening in Kenosha here.
03:15 GMT – Trump addresses key swing states
Trump sprinkled into his convention speech mentions of swing states he needs to win in November, framing them as states Democratic nominee Joe Biden has betrayed.
Castigating Biden as an enemy of the car industry, Trump is chiding Biden for supporting, among other trade deals, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was responsible for US manufacturing jobs being sent to Mexico and overseas.
Trump claimed that laid-off workers in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, among other states, “didn’t want Joe Biden’s hollow words of empathy, they wanted their jobs back.”
He promised to create 10 million jobs in 10 months.
Trump won Michigan and Pennsylvania, carried by Democrats for the previous six elections. Trump also carried Ohio in 2016, and would probably need to win it again to be re-elected.
03:15 GMT – Trump on immigration
Trump addressed another of his core topics: immigration.
And again attacked Biden.
“Joe Biden recently raised his hand on the debate stage and promised to give away your healthcare dollars to illegal immigrants,” he claimed.
US President Donald Trump delivering his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee during the final event of the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US [Carlos Barria/Reuters]
“He also supports deadly Sanctuary Cities that protect criminal aliens,” he continued, “He promised to end national security travel bans from Jihadist nations, and he pledged to increase refugee admissions by 700 percent,”
“The Biden Plan would eliminate America’s borders in the middle of a global pandemic,” he added.
03:00 GMT – Trump appeals to evangelicals
Trump said his rival, Democratic nominee Joe Biden “is not the savior of America’s soul,” and “if given the chance, he will be the destroyer of American greatness.”
Trump said that Americans “don’t look to career politicians for salvation” but instead “put our faith in Almighty God.”
In June, Trump said “I hope it’s true” when asked about an evangelical claim that he had been appointed by God. Last August, Trump declared himself “the chosen one,” but later said he was joking.
Evangelical Christians are among Trump’s staunchest supporters.
02:50 GMT – Trump attacks Joe Biden
Trump attacked Democratic rival Joe Biden and asserted that a Biden victory would only worsen the crises besieging the country.
“At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas,” Trump said.
02:45 GMT – Trump addresses hurricane
Trump mentioned Hurricane Laura, which recently lashed the Gulf Coast, killing at least half a dozen people.
Trump said his thoughts are with the “wonderful people who have just come through the wrath of Hurricane Laura.”
Laura came ashore early on Thursday as a Category 4 hurricane and caused widespread damage around Lake Charles, an industrial and casino city of 80,000 people.
The storm left entire neighbourhoods in ruins and almost 900,000 homes and businesses without power. Laura is the most powerful storm to hit the US this year. Trump said he would visit the area this weekend.
President Donald Trump speaking from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, in Washington, DC [AP Photo/Alex Brandon]
02:35 GMT – Trump paints stark choice
Trump painted a stark choice in the November’s vote.
“This is the most important election in the history of our country. At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas.
This election will decide whether we save the American Dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny,” he said.
02:30 GMT – Trump to take the stage
02:15 GMT – Trump changed Washington, Ivanka says
Ivanka Trump says Washington hates her father because he has called out its hypocrisy.
Instead of letting Washington change him, she says Trump changed Washington, and she says the US needs four more years of leadership from the “warrior” in the White House.
White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump introducing her father US President Donald Trump ahead of delivering his acceptance speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention [Carlos Barria/Reuters]
Introducing her father on the Republican National Convention’s final night, Ivanka Trump also took a swipe at Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, whom she calls “another empty vessel who will do whatever the media and the fringe of his party demands.”
She said she loves him for “being real” and respects him for “being effective.”
02:00 GMT – Grim portrait of violence in America
Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York painted a grim portrait of violence in America saying that a vote for Democrat Joe Biden is a vote for “soft on crime” policies and risks a continuation of the “wave of lawlessness” that he says is ravaging the country.
Former US Vice President Joe Biden accepting the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during a speech delivered for the largely virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]
He says the riots in American cities give “you a good view” of what life would be like in a Biden administration, though the current violence is happening during Trump’s administration.
He says Trump is the one candidate who can be trusted to preserve the American way of life.
01:30 GMT – Widow gives heartfelt tribute
Ann Dorn, the widow of Dave Dorn, a retired St Louis police officer and security guard who was killed by looters during protests in June, gave a heartfelt tribute to her late husband.
“Looters were ransacking the shop. They shot and killed Dave in cold blood and livestreamed the execution and his last moments on earth,” Dorn recalled.
“How did we get to this point where so many young people are so callous and indifferent towards human life? This isn’t a video game where you can commit mayhem and then hit reset,” she said.
Two men have been charged in Dorn’s death.
01:05 GMT – ‘Undying support’
Jeff Van Drew a New Jersey congressman who switched from Democrat to Republican says he deserted his former party when it “moved from liberal to radical.”
He said that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is not in control of his own candidacy and “is being told what to do by the radicals running my former party.”
Van Drew broke with his party and voted against impeaching President Donald Trump. Last year, he switched parties to become a Republican, and promising Trump his “undying support.”
01:00 GMT – ‘Invisible enemy we didn’t ask for’
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is talking more about the coronavirus pandemic than many of the speakers at the convention, but calling it “an invisible enemy that we didn’t ask for.”
He credits President Donald Trump for having “unleashed a Marshall Plan for Main Street,” referring to the coronavirus relief package for unemployed Americans and businesses.
The coronavirus disease has infected over 5.8 million Americans and killed more than 180,000 people, the highest tally in the world. [Henry Ford Health System via AFP]
But like many other speakers he referred to the pandemic as an unforeseen tragedy that has killed 180,000 Americans, not the virus that first swept across Europe and that Trump at first played down before assembling a White House task force.
00:55 GMT – Republican National Convention opens with a prayer
The Reverend Franklin Graham, one of President Trump’s most prominent evangelical supporters, opened the fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention with a prayer for Trump and his family, asking God to “unite our hearts to be one nation.”
Graham, the elder son of the Reverend Billy Graham, who built an evangelical empire and was for decades a spiritual adviser to presidents of both political parties before his death in 2018 – is a fierce defender of Trump and his agenda.
“Our country is facing trouble,” Graham said in his prayer, referencing “tens of thousands in the path of a deadly storm.” The pandemic, he said, “has gripped millions of hearts with fear. We’re divided. We have witnessed injustice. Anger and despair have flowed into the streets. We need your help. We need to hear your voice at this crucial hour.”
00:50 GMT – White House South Lawn, face masks not required
The White House South Lawn had never provided the setting for a national political convention before but President Donald Trump is accepting the Republican presidential nomination there.
Jumbo screens blared “Trump Pence” and white folding chairs were laid out close together for the 1,500 expected guests, not the recommended 6 feet apart.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign stand in a crowd expected to number more than 1500 people packing the South Lawn of the White House to attend the president’s acceptance speech [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]
Face masks are not required for the event, where Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump are set to speak, and many guests will not be tested for the coronavirus.
The White House says those who will be “in close proximity” to Trump will be tested.
22:00 GMT – Trump’s big night
President Donald Trump is expected to stand on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC tonight to accept his party’s nomination for president, presenting himself as the last barrier protecting an American way of life under siege from radical forces.
Trump is expected to paint an optimistic vision of the US’s future if he were to win another term, including an eventual triumph over the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 180,000 people, left millions unemployed and rewritten many rules of society.
US President Donald Trump speaking during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, US [2020 Republican National Convention/Handout via Reuters]
“We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years,” Trump was expected to say, according to speech excerpts confirmed by his campaign. “At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies or two agendas.”
The Democratic agenda, the speech excerpts claimed, “is the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee”.
21:30 GMT – Recap of Mike Pence speech
Pence said the US needs four more years of Trump in the White House, and blasted Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“When you consider their agenda, it’s clear: Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for a radical left,” Pence claimed. “The choice in this election has never been clearer and the stakes have never been higher.”
US Vice President Mike Pence delivers his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican vice presidential nominee during an event of the 2020 Republican National Convention held at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, US [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]
He also stuck to the theme of law and order, echoed by most speakers throughout the night.
“Joe Biden says America is systemically racist. And that law enforcement in America has a quote, ‘implicit bias’ against minorities. And when asked whether he’d support cutting funding to law enforcement, and he replied, ‘Yes, absolutely.'”
“The hard truth is … you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
Read more here.