R.N.C. Live Updates: The Republican Convention Kicks Off

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Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Four years ago, President Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination in Cleveland over persistent opposition within his own party. There was a hopeless, last-minute effort to battle his nomination on the convention floor. There was Senator Ted Cruz’s admonition to voters to “vote your conscience,” in lieu of a call for party unity. There was Gov. John Kasich — the chief executive of the host state — declining to attend.

Today, Mr. Trump will be renominated for a second term as president with no meaningful opposition within his party. His advisers have promised the Republican convention will make a variety of appeals to voters about the economy, national security and law enforcement. But one message is clear from the start: This is Mr. Trump’s party now.

There is much that remains uncertain about the Republican National Convention, including how exactly organizers intend to focus its message. Mr. Trump and his team have criticized the Democratic convention last week as too downbeat and promised a more optimistic set of speeches this week, even as Mr. Trump has delivered some of his bleakest, most caustic and divisive stump speeches in recent days.

But what is certain is that Mr. Trump, his family and his loyalists will dominate the week. The president himself is expected to make an appearance all four nights of the convention, and given his thirst for media attention, it may not be in the same understated manner as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s cameo appearances last week. The rest of the announced speakers are all reliable Trump lieutenants, from Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who recently hosted the president at Mount Rushmore, to Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador who has been a reliable pro-Trump surrogate on television and social media.

The kickoff night features both Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, the conservative media personality who is his girlfriend, as well as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who brandished firearms at Black protesters and were charged with unlawful use of firearms.

If four years ago the convention was a test of whether Republicans could unite for the general election, this year the party is confronting a different question: With Mr. Trump firmly in charge and also clearly trailing his Democratic challenger, can his version of the Republican Party’s message reach voters who do not support him already?

Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, will appear before lawmakers again on Monday, this time testifying to the Democratic-run House Oversight Committee, where he is expected to face much tougher questioning than he did on Friday when he testified before a committee of the Republican-run Senate.

His testimony is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Times will carry it live.

Mr. DeJoy is expected to continue defending the cost-cutting measures he has put in place at the Postal Service and push back against suggestions that the changes are intended to influence the 2020 election by making mail-in voting less reliable.

Mr. DeJoy’s testimony comes one day after Senator Chuck Schumer of New York announced that a Postal Service task force had been set up to oversee election-related mail.

Mr. Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, said that the task force would submit a status report to Congress in the coming weeks and had committed to issuing weekly updates.

Democrats have been leery of Mr. DeJoy’s role as a megadonor to Republicans and President Trump, who continued to try to sow seeds of distrust about mail-in voting on Sunday.

Mr. Trump tweeted that ballot drop boxes were not being sanitized to prevent the coronavirus and could be used for fraud. Five hours later, Twitter hid Mr. Trump’s tweet behind a notice warning users that the message violated its rules against dissuading people from voting.

Mr. Trump has also drawn criticism for recent comments that he made on Fox News in which he said that law enforcement officers would be deployed to polling places in the November election, something that the president does not have the authority to do.

Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said on Sunday that was outside the agency’s jurisdiction. “That’s not what we do at the Department of Homeland Security,” Mr. Wolf told CNN.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Kamala Harris presented a united front in their first joint television interview, glossing over a number of significant differences they held in the primary campaign to emphasize their shared commitment to defeating President Trump.

The two members of the Democratic ticket participated in a socially distanced interview on ABC that aired on Sunday. In the interview, both were pressed on Ms. Harris’s previous criticism of Mr. Biden’s record on busing. That issue was the subject of one of the most dramatic moments on the debate stage during the primary — a searing attack that also gave some of Mr. Biden’s allies pause about Ms. Harris during the vice-presidential search process.

A discussion of that issue now, Ms. Harris suggested, is “a distraction from what we need to accomplish right now and what we need to do.”

Mr. Biden, for his part, stressed that both had moved on.

“I sense exactly where she was coming from,” Mr. Biden said of Ms. Harris’s criticism at the time, which she put in the context of her own experience as a Black American who was part of a school integration program. “I think a lot of people, and maybe even the senator at the time, didn’t know the depth of my record.”

He added, “We’re on the same exact page about what the possibilities are right now.”

Throughout the interview, she frequently cited Mr. Biden’s policy plans and cast him as progressive on matters of L.G.B.T.Q., racial and gender equality.

Ms. Harris was also pressed on her views on health care. In the Senate, she has co-sponsored Senator Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for all” bill, under which private health insurance would be abolished. Mr. Biden wants to build on the Affordable Care Act.

Ms. Harris answered no when asked if she saw a day when private coverage would be eliminated. Asked about her support for Medicare for all, she responded: “I signed on to that. I signed on to a number of bills that were about great ideas to fix the problem.”

“I want to fix the problem,” she added. “And Joe has a plan to fix the problem, and I’m fully supportive of it.”

Credit…Travis Dove for The New York Times

The daily programming for the Republican National Convention will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time Monday through Thursday but, as with the Democratic convention, the big speeches will happen at night.

The Times will stream the convention every evening, accompanied by chat-based live analysis from our reporters and real-time highlights from the speeches. The official livestream will be available on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch and Amazon Prime. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News will cover the convention from 10 to 11 p.m. every night; CNN from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.; MSNBC from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.; PBS from 8 to 11 p.m.; and C-SPAN at 9 a.m. and then at 8:30 p.m.

President Trump is expected to speak every day. Other major speakers on Night 1 include Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and a former ambassador to the United Nations; Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate; and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son and a prominent surrogate on the campaign trail and on Twitter.

Other speakers scheduled for Monday include:

  • Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida.

  • Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fund-raising official for Mr. Trump and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.

  • Natalie Harp, a member of the advisory board for Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

  • Amy Johnson Ford, a nurse.

  • State Representative Vernon Jones of Georgia, a Democrat who is part of Mr. Trump’s response to Republicans who endorsed Joseph R. Biden Jr. last week.

  • Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

  • Charlie Kirk, the 26-year-old founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit.

  • Kim Klacik, the Republican candidate in Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District. The district is safely Democratic, but Ms. Klacik, who is Black, went viral for an ad in which she said Democrats did not care about Black lives.

  • Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a couple who were filmed pointing guns at peaceful Black protesters in St. Louis. Mr. Trump shared the video on Twitter, and the McCloskeys were charged with felonies.

  • Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.

  • Sean Parnell, the Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District.

  • Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

  • Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House Republican whip.

  • Tanya Weinreis, a small-business owner in Montana who received a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Credit…Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

When President Trump’s strategists mapped out their plans for the critical week leading to the Republican National Convention that would nominate him for a second term, the schedule somehow did not include a sensational arrest on a Chinese billionaire’s yacht.

The last thing the president wanted to see as he kick-starts his campaign was the architect of his last campaign hauled away in handcuffs on charges of bilking his own supporters in a build-the-wall fund-raising scam. Yet there was Stephen K. Bannon, the mastermind of the 2016 election, with his hair now long and scraggly and his face weathered, marched into court and called a crook.

That was only part of the president’s tough week or so. In recent days, the Senate released a damning bipartisan report on Russia’s efforts to help Mr. Trump win in 2016. A government agency concluded that a member of the president’s cabinet is serving in violation of the law. A court rejected Mr. Trump’s effort to keep his tax returns secret. Unemployment claims ticked back up. And former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. smoothly pulled off his own convention without the gaffes Mr. Trump had predicted.

If that were not enough, the president found his family dysfunction playing out in public at the same time he was presiding over a funeral for his younger brother at the White House. Tapes secretly made by his niece over the past couple of years and provided to The Washington Post captured the president’s own sister saying that he “has no principles, none,” railing about “his goddamned tweet and lying” and denouncing his “phoniness” and “cruelty.”

It was a week that in some ways encapsulated the volatile Trump presidency and the baggage he brings into the contest this fall with Mr. Biden: a team at constant war with the criminal justice system, a president defiant of the norms respected by others in the Oval Office, a once-healthy economy sputtering amid a pandemic, an opposition roused and unified by mutual antipathy for the incumbent and discord even among those closest to him.

President Trump, who has struggled to answer basic questions about what he would do with a second term, on Sunday night released a list of vague statements about his agenda for four more years.

The list was featured under the headline “President Trump: Fighting for You!” and included broad, detail-free pledges. Some were standard fare, like promises of millions of new jobs, and there were also some of Mr. Trump’s broad pledges, like “hold China fully accountable for allowing the virus to spread around the world.”

“Return to normal in 2021” was another pledge, a reference to the social distancing measures that have caused widespread disruptions in states as officials have tried to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

Then there were the more esoteric pledges, like, “Drain the Globalist Swamp by Taking on International Organizations That Hurt American Citizens.”



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