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Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle make emphatic speeches to GOP convo

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Donald Trump Jr took his turn in the spotlight on Monday night as the highest profile member of the first family to address the Republican National Convention, painting his father as the sole guardian of American values, and Democrats as intent on tearing down the country.

His girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle also addressed the GOP faithful that night in remarks that seemed to come from the pulpit, with her arms reached out as she shouted out praise for President Donald Trump.

The couple’s speeches came on a night in which the Republicans sought to present Trump as standing between the U.S. and an unruly, socialist future.

In a heavily-produced evening which saw two segments with Donald Trump speaking to first frontline workers and then freed hostages and prisoners from abroad, the party spent just short of two and a half hours seeking to convince voters of the virtue of four more years – which party faithful chanted at one point. 

Trump had said last week that he wanted more of his convention to be live than the Democrats’ but just three speeches were live Monday – those of Ronna McDaniel, the Republican Party chair, Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations, and Tim Scott, the South Carolina senator – and Trump Jr and his girlfriend pre-taped their speeches earlier in the day.

Organizers rolled out ‘ordinary voters’ who praised Trump for his impact on their lives, including a cancer patient and a recipient of PPP bailout cash, tried to present a diverse face of the party with black black speakers and an emotional Cuban immigration, started with a movie-style voiceover by Jon Voight and ended before 11pm EST.

But it was president’s eldest son who made the main political argument of the night and struck directly and forcefully at his father’s rival for the presidency – Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

‘This time the other party is attacking the very principles on which our Nation was founded,’ he said of Democrats, in a speech taped before it was aired.

He accused Biden, who has spent over 40 years in public office as a senator from Delaware and then as vice president, ‘the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp’ – which is the nickname for Washington D.C.

‘Joe Biden is basically the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp. For the past half-century, he’s been lurking around in there. He sticks his head up every now and then to run for President, then he disappears and doesn’t do much in between,’ Trump Jr. said.

Donald Trump Jr took his turn in the spotlight on Monday night as the highest profile member of the first family to address the Republican National Convention

Grand setting: Republican speakers delivered their speeches from a podium at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium – including Donald Trump Jr. TV cameras largely stayed tightly focused on them for their speeches

Kimberly Guilfoyle’s remarks seemed to come from the pulpit, with her arms reached over head in prayer as she shouted out praise for President Trump

Emphatic point: Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, delivered her pre-taped speech to an almost entirely empty Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C.

Donald Trump Jr. fist bumps his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle after they pre-recorded their addresses at the Republican National Convention

Donald Trump Jr. addressed some of President Trump’s s weakness – his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and race relations – while hitting Joe Biden in one of his areas of strength – his appeal to middle-class workers

The couple recorded their speeches a few hours before they aired and did them in one take, live to tape, DailyMail.com has learned.  

In his remarks, Trump Jr. addressed some of his father’s weakness – his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and race relations – while hitting Biden in one of his areas of strength – his appeal to middle-class workers.

The president’s son echoed his father in blaming the ‘Chinese Communist Party’ for the pandemic that has infected more than 5.74 million Americans, including his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, and killed more 177,00 people.

He and Guifoyle, like most of the convention speakers Monday night, spoke from the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C., just a few miles from the White House. 

Trump Jr. complained when the president shut down travel from China that ‘Joe Biden and his Democrat allies called my father a racist and xenophobe for doing it. They put political correctness ahead of the safety and security of the American people.’

He also attacked Biden for saying he would shut down the country to help combat the pandemic.

Biden told ABC News in an interview that aired Sunday night that he would close down the country if scientists recommended it.

‘I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,’ he said – a line Republicans promptly pounded on to attack the Democratic candidate.

Trump Jr. said Biden’s actions – if elected – would destroy the American economy.

‘Biden’s radical leftwing policies would stop our economic recovery cold. He’s already talking about shutting the country down — again. It’s madness,’ he said.

The president’s son, who works for the family business The Trump Organization, attacked Biden in one of the Democrat’s strongest areas – his appeal to blue-collar voters, the same voters that helped elect President Trump in 2016.

‘In fact, if you think about it, Joe Biden’s entire economic platform seems designed to crush the working man and woman,’ Trump Jr. said. ‘He supported the worst trade deals in the history of the planet. He voted for the NAFTA Nightmare. Down the tubes went our auto industry. He pushed TPP. Goodbye manufacturing jobs.’

He also warned that Biden wants to open American borders so ‘more illegal immigrants’ can ‘take jobs from American citizens.’

‘Biden also wants to bring in more illegal immigrants to take jobs from American citizens. His open border policies would drive wages down for Americans at a time when low-income workers were getting real wage increases for the first time in modern history,’ he said.

Trump Jr kicked off the opening night of the Republican National Convention, which moved its hub of operations to Washington D.C. on Monday night after the business of the gathering – the formal nomination of the president – was completed earlier in the day in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

President Trump’s family will take center stage at this week’s convention: first lady Melania Trump will give the keynote address on Tuesday night while Eric Trump and Tiffany speak the same evening. Ivanka Trump will introduce her father on Thursday night ahead of his key note address, delivered from the South Lawn of the White House.

Meanwhile, Trump Jr appears to have found a calling in politics. A popular surrogate for his father at campaign rallies and a prolific fundraiser for the Republican Party, Trump Jr has sparked talk he’ll run for office one day himself.

But on Monday, he advocated for a second term for his father. He addressed the racial tension in the United States, which is another area where voters give President Trump low marks.

‘All men and women are created equal and must be treated equally under the law. That’s why we must put an end to racism, and we must ensure that any police officer who abuses their power is held accountable. What happened to George Floyd is a disgrace. And if you know a police officer, you know they agree with that, too,’ he said.

However, he also repeated the Republican line that police must be defended.

‘But we cannot lose sight of the fact that our police are American heroes. They deserve our deepest appreciation. Because no matter what the Democrats say, you and I both know when we dial 911, we don’t want it going to voicemail. So “defunding” the police is not an option,’ he said.

Biden has said repeatedly he does not want to defund police departments.

And Trump Jr closed with a vision for the future.

‘Imagine the country you want to live in–one with true equality of opportunity, where hard work pays off and justice is served with compassion and without partiality. You can have it,’ he said, adding it would just take re-electing President Trump.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, one of President Trump’s most energetic supporters on the campaign trail and the girlfriend of his eldest son, preceded Trump Jr on stage.

The couple make a popular side show ahead of the president at his campaign rallies with their cute, couplely shtick about their life in politics, complete with cute nicknames for one another.

After Guilfoyle finished her remarks, Trump Jr gave her a fist bump.

Guilfoyle stuck to the campaign’s talking points in her brief remarks, emphasizing that Trump is the ‘law and order president’ while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want to defund the police, which Biden has said is not true.

‘As Commander-in-Chief, he always puts America First! President Trump is The Law and Order President,’ she said. ‘Biden, Harris and their socialist comrades will fundamentally change this nation – they want open borders, closed schools, dangerous amnesty and will selfishly send your jobs back to China, while they get richer! They will defund, dismantle and destroy America’s law enforcement.’

She also criticized her former home state of California. Guilfoyle is the ex-wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. When he was San Francisco mayor the couple were portrayed as the future of Democratic politics.

‘If you want to see the socialist Biden/Harris future for our country, just take a look at California. It is a place of immense wealth, immeasurable innovation and immaculate environment – and the Democrats turned it into a land of discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets and blackouts in homes,’ she said in dramatic tones.

She then pivoted to what life is like under President Trump.

‘In President Trump’s America we light things up, we don’t dim them down. We build things up, we don’t burn them down. We kneel in prayer and we stand for our flag!,’ she said. 

Kimberly Guilfoyle seemed to be speaking from the pulpit when she addressed the Republican National Convention on Monday night

Donald Trump Jr, wearing  a face mask, watches Kimberly Guilfoyle record her remarks

Donald Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle tweeted their praise for one another during the Republican convention on Monday night

She spoke dramatically, waving her arms and practically shouting her words.  

Guilfoyle, who is the finance chair of the Trump re-election campaign, promised the ‘best is yet to come’ under President Trump. She raised her arms wide, as if in prayer, shouting her support for the president.

‘President Trump is the leader who will rebuild the Promise of America and ensure that every citizen can realize their American Dream!,’ she said and closed with: ‘Ladies and Gentleman, Leaders and Fighters for Freedom and Liberty and the American Dream – The best is yet to come!’

READ DONALD TRUMP JR’S FULL SPEECH TO RNC

 Good evening, America.

We’re here tonight to talk about the Great American Story. To talk about this country we all love. This Land of promise and opportunity — of heroes… and greatness.

Just a few short months ago, we were seeing the American Dream become a reality for more of our citizens than ever before.

· The greatest prolonged economic expansion in American history.

· The lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years.

· The lowest ever unemployment rates ever for black Americans, hispanic Americans, women, and pretty much every other demographic group.

And then, courtesy of the Chinese Communist Party, the virus struck.

The President quickly took action and shut down travel from China. Joe Biden and his Democrat allies called my father a racist and xenophobe for doing it. They put political correctness ahead of the safety and security of the American people.

Fortunately, as the virus began to spread, the President acted quickly and ensured ventilators got to hospitals that needed them most. He delivered PPE to our brave frontline workers. And he rallied the mighty American private sector, to tackle this new challenge.

There is more work to do, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Job gains are outpacing what the so-called experts expected.

But Biden’s radical leftwing policies would stop our economic recovery cold. He’s already talking about shutting the country down — again. It’s madness.

Democrats claim to be for workers, but they’ve spent the entire pandemic trying to sneak a tax break for millionaires in Democrat states into the COVID relief bill. Then they attacked my father for suspending the payroll tax for middle-class workers.

In fact, if you think about it, Joe Biden’s entire economic platform seems designed to crush the working man and woman.

He supported the worst trade deals in the history of the planet. He voted for the NAFTA Nightmare. Down the tubes went our auto industry. He pushed TPP. Goodbye manufacturing jobs.

Beijing Biden is so weak on China that the Intelligence Community recently assessed that the Chinese Communist Party favors Biden. They know he’ll weaken us both economically and on the world stage.

Biden also wants to bring in more illegal immigrants to take jobs from American citizens. His open border policies would drive wages down for Americans at a time when low-income workers were getting real wage increases for the first time in modern history.

He’s pledged to repeal the Trump Tax Cuts, which were the biggest in our history. After eight years of Obama and Biden’s slow growth, Trump’s policies have been like rocket fuel to the economy and especially the middle-class. Biden has promised to take that money back out of your pocket and keep it in the Swamp.

But that makes sense, considering Joe Biden is basically the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp. For the past half-century, he’s been lurking around in there. He sticks his head up every now and then to run for President, then he disappears and doesn’t do much in between.

So if you’re looking for hope, look to the man who did what the failed Obama-Biden Administration never could do and built the greatest economy our country had ever seen–and President Trump will do it again.

We will be stronger than ever, because when we put our mind to it, there’s no obstacle that America can’t surmount.

Except there’s a difference this time. In the past, both parties believed in the goodness of America. We agreed on where we wanted to go. We just disagreed about how to get there.

This time the other party is attacking the very principles on which our Nation was founded:

· Freedom of thought

· Freedom of speech

· Freedom of religion

· The rule of law

Thomas Jefferson famously said, “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Our Founders believed there was nothing more important than protecting our God-given right to think for ourselves.

Now the Left’s trying to “cancel” all of those Founders. They don’t seem to understand this important principle: In order to improve in the future, we must learn from our past–not erase it.

So we are not going to tear down monuments and forget the people who built our great Nation. Instead, we will learn from our past so we don’t repeat any mistakes. And we will work tirelessly to improve the lives of all Americans.

Joe Biden and the radical left are also now coming for our freedom of speech and want to bully us into submission. If they get their way, it will no longer be the “Silent Majority,” it will be the “Silenced Majority.”

This has to stop. Freedom of expression used to be a Liberal value, at least before the radical Left took over. Now the Republican Party is the home of free speech–the place where anyone from any background can speak their mind. And may the best ideas win.

People of faith are under attack. You’re not allowed to go to church, but mass chaos in the streets gets a pass. It’s almost like this election is shaping up to be church, work, and school vs. rioting, looting and vandalism– or, in the words of Biden and the Democrats, “peaceful protesting.”

Anarchists have been flooding our streets and Democrat mayors are ordering the police to stand down.

Small businesses across America—many of them minority owned—are being torched by mobs.

The Democrat mayors pretend it’s not happening. They actually called it “a summer of love.”

And that brings me to another important principle: Every American must be free to live without fear of violence–in your country, in your communities, and in your homes.

All men and women are created equal and must be treated equally under the law. That’s why we must put an end to racism, and we must ensure that any police officer who abuses their power is held accountable. What happened to George Floyd is a disgrace. And if you know a police officer, you know they agree with that, too.

But we cannot lose sight of the fact that our police are American heroes. They deserve our deepest appreciation. Because no matter what the Democrats say, you and I both know when we dial 911, we don’t want it going to voicemail. So “defunding” the police is not an option.

Everything starts with safety and security. You can’t have anything else without it. You can’t focus on building a better future for your children without the peace of mind that they can study safely in their classrooms, play safely in their neighborhoods, and sleep safely in their beds.

But safety is only the beginning. Trump’s America is a land of opportunity–a place of promise.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that could afford the best schools and the finest universities. But a great education cannot be the exclusive right of the rich and powerful. It must be accessible to all.

That’s why my dad is pro-school choice. That’s why he called education access the civil rights issue of not just our time–but of all time. It is unacceptable that too many African American and Hispanic American children are stuck in bad schools just because of their zip code. Donald Trump will not stand for it.

If Democrats really wanted to help minorities and underserved communities, instead of bowing to big money union bosses, they’d let parents choose what school is best for their kids. They’d limit immigration to protect American workers. They’d support the police who protect our neighborhoods. They’d learn how to negotiate trade deals that prioritizes America’s interests for a change. They’d end the endless wars and quit sending our young people to solve problems in foreign lands. They’d cut taxes for families and workers. They’d create Opportunity Zones that drive investment into inner cities.

In other words, if Democrats cared for the forgotten men and women of our country, they’d do exactly what President Trump is doing.

America is the greatest country on Earth. But my father’s entire worldview revolves around the idea that we can always do even better.

Imagine the life you want to have–one with a great job, a beautiful home, and a perfect family. You can have it.

Imagine the country you want to live in–one with true equality of opportunity, where hard work pays off and justice is served with compassion and without partiality. You can have it.

Imagine a world where the evils of Communism and radical Islamic Terrorism are not given a chance to spread–where heroes are celebrated and the good guys win. You can have it.

That is the life, that is the country, that is the world that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are after. And yes, you can have it. Because unlike Joe Biden and the radical Left Democrats, our Party is open to everyone.

It all starts by rejecting the radicals who want to drag us into the dark, and embracing the man who represents a bright and beautiful future for all. It starts by re-electing Donald J. Trump President of the United States.

Thank you and God Bless America.

 GOP starts the mainly virtual RNC by calling Donald Trump ‘the bodyguard of Western civilization’ as it showcases ‘ordinary voters’ including St Louis gun couple who say he stands between America and ‘the mob’

The first night of the Republican National Convention kicked off Monday evening with warnings from several speakers of a ‘vengeful mob,’ painting Donald Trump as the only thing standing between it and America.

The first speaker, Charlie Kirk, who founded conservative student organization Turning Point USA, set the mood for the night by warning Americans of angry liberals and claiming ‘everything we love’ is at stake in November.

‘I am here tonight to tell you – to warn you – that this election is a decision between preserving America as we know it, and eliminating everything that we love,’ Kirk said during live remarks from a podium at the Andrew W Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C.

He also lauded Trump for putting ‘his own life of luxury on the line’ to run for president.

‘From the moment he came down that famous escalator he started a movement to reclaim our government from the rotten cartel of insiders that have been destroying our country,’ Kirk continued.

‘We may not have realized it at the time, but this fact is now clear: Trump is the bodyguard of western civilization,’ he lavished praise on the president.

‘Trump was elected to protect our families – our loved ones – from the vengeful mob that wishes to destroy our way of life, our neighborhoods, schools, church, and values,’ he said. ‘President Trump was elected to defend and strengthen the American way of life.’

Also speaking at the convention were the St. Louis couple who went viral for wielding guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home.

Mark and Patty McCloskey, who are facing felony charges, touted Trump’s defense of the Second Amendment and also warned Americans of the ‘mob.’

Charlie Kirk, the first speaker of the first night of the Republican National Convention Monday, warned of a ‘vengeful mob that wishes to destroy our way of life’ 

St. Louis couple Mark (right) and Patty (left) McCloskey also warned a ‘mob’ would come for Republicans – especially pro-gun Americans – if Donald Trump is not reelected in November

The McCloskeys went viral after a video of them wielding guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home went viral. The two are facing felony charges

‘At this moment in history, if you stand up for yourself and for the values our country was founded on, the mob – spurred on by their allies in the media – will try to destroy you,’ Mark said as he sat beside his wife and addressed the camera in remote remarks.

Monday night started with a video montage narrated by actor Jon Voight as patriotic and pro-Donald Trump images and clips showed on screen.

In an attempt to expand speaking time and to upstage Democrats, the festivities Monday night began a full half-an-hour earlier than Democrats began their convention each night last week. 

Voight, an avid Republican, touted in his monologue narration that Trump was elected because he works ‘tirelessly’ for Americans.

‘We chose a different path,’ Voight said of Trump’s election. ‘A man who is not a politician. A man who cares. A man who loves America, and all Americans. A man who works tirelessly for you. Even tonight during this nomination.’ 

Actor Jon Voight (pictured left with Donald Trump) opened the first night of the Republican National Convention by narrating an video montage of patriotic and pro-Trump clips 

Kirk, a 26-year-old who founded student conservative organization Turning Point USA, said Monday: ‘I am here tonight to tell you – to warn you – that this election is a decision between preserving America as we know it, and eliminating everything that we love’

Tanya Weinreis, a Montana business owner, is one of the first recipients of the Payment Protection Program. ‘I feel for workers and businesses across America, who are under assault from shutdowns, from riots, and now face the terrifying prospect of Joe Biden coming after everything we’ve built,’ she said Monday

Among the ordinary American speakers Monday were Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018.

‘I got to see who President Trump really is. He’s a good man and a great listener. And he cuts through the B.S.,’ Pollack said. ‘Then the president did what he said he would do. He took action. He formed the school safety commission that issued dozens of recommendations to make schools safe. But I bet you never heard about that.’

In criticism of the press, Pollack said, ‘Instead, the media turned my daughter’s murder into a coordinated attack on President Trump, Republicans and our Second Amendment.’ 

Pollack also said that children’s safety are dependent on Trump getting reelected.

‘It’s hard to tell how much Mr. Biden understands about what happened at Parkland,’ Pollack said.

‘But he doesn’t even seem to know when this shooting happened—he said that he was Vice President when it happened. But he wasn’t,’ he continued, pointing to the gaffe-prone candidate.

Andrew Pollack, the father of a victim of the Parkland school shooting, said that American children’s lives depend on Trump being reelected

‘Mr. Biden may not know who was Vice President that day but I do. It wasn’t Joe Biden. It was Mike Pence, thank God,’ he continued. ‘And I know who the President was too. It wasn’t Barack Obama. It was President Donald J. Trump. And he took action.’

‘I truly believe the safety of your kids depends on whether this man is re-elected. I hope you’ll join me in helping to make that happen,’ he concluded.

Also speaking on the gun front was Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican who was shot in 2017 during practice for the Congressional Baseball Game. He recalled the incident during his remarks from Washington D.C. Monday.

‘After I was shot on a baseball field by a leftist gunman, first responders rushed me to a hospital where I battled for my life,’ Scalise said.

He recalled both the president and first lady visiting him that night.

‘They were there for my family in the darkest hours,’ Scalise said. ‘Donald Trump would call to check on me throughout the following weeks, just to see how I was doing. That’s the kind of person he is.’

Besides giving Trump a personality endorsement, Scalise also railed against some Democratic calls to ‘defund’ the police.

‘This is personal – I wouldn’t be here without the bravery and heroism of the men and women in law enforcement who saved my life,’ Scalise argued

Also on deck for remarks early on in the convention kick-off Monday were California public school educator Rebecca Friedrichs, who spoke out against unions and propped up Trump’s pro-school choice agenda; and businesswoman Tanya Weinreis, who owns a coffee shop in Montana and was able to remain in business after receiving the Payment Protection Program grant in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

‘My company was one of the first to get help from the PPP loan and Praise God, it has been a lifesaver for us,’ Weinreis said.

‘I feel for workers and businesses across America, who are under assault from shutdowns, from riots, and now face the terrifying prospect of Joe Biden coming after everything we’ve built,’ she continued of the Democratic nominee.

‘I am so grateful that we have leaders like President Trump standing up for us who understand the good local business do in our neighborhoods and are not afraid to fight for us every day,’ the Mountain Mudd Espresso owner said. ‘Thank you President Trump – it is so exciting to be a part of this great American comeback story.’  

Maryland Republican congressional candidate Kim Klacik also made remarks after she garnered national attention for a city walk-through ad where she urged black Americans – specifically those in Baltimore – to leave the Democratic Party.

Kim Klasick, a Republican running for the U.S. House in Baltimore, went viral for a campaign ad where she urged black Democrats to leave the party. She repeated the same message during her short remarks at the convention Monday

‘The Democrats still assume that black people will vote for them, no matter how much they let us down and take us for granted,’ Klacik, who is running for Elijah Cumming’s vacant House seat. ‘Nope! We’re sick of it and not going to take it anymore. The days of blindly supporting the Democrats are coming to an end.’

She lashed out against Biden, claiming he ‘believes we can’t think for ourselves — that the color of someone’s skin dictates their political views.’

‘We’re not buying the lies anymore – you and your party have ignored us for too long,’ she asserted.

Biden holds a vast majority of the black vote and usually is most popular among this demographic. 

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the lone black Republican in the U.S. Senate, closed out the first night of the convention as the keynote speaker.

He said Biden has said if black people don’t vote for him then they aren’t really black – he also accused the candidate of seeing all black voters as the same. 

Some of President Trump’s most ardent defenders inside the Capitol including Rep. Matt Gaetz tore into Democrats at Monday night’s GOP convention – as the Florida Republican said Democrats would invite gang members to live next door.

‘They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door. And the defunded police aren’t on their way,’ Gaetz said, in one of several charged lines.

The Judiciary Committee member and Trump loyalist during the Mueller probe accused Democrats of ‘blaming our best and allowing society’s worst.’

‘He believes in war without winning, war without end,’ Gaetz said of Biden, who voted for the 2003 Iraq war authorization.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most vocal impeachment defenders, also trained fire on Democrats in his convention remarks, saying cities run by Democrats were facing ‘mob rule.’

‘And when you take on the swamp, the swamp fights back,’ he said. ‘They tried the Russia hoax, the Mueller investigation, and the fake impeachment. But in spite of this unbelievable opposition, this president has done what he said he would do,’ Jordan said. 

Trump plans to make remarks during the 10:00 p.m. hour each night of the four-night convention this week.

There are reports that his remarks on Monday night will be pre-recorded.

They will play after Trump already made a mini-rally speech during a surprise stop in Charlotte, North Carolina – the original site of the RNC – on Monday afternoon.

Trump said during the stop at the in-person convention that Democrats will try to steal the election in November by avoiding sending or accepting mail-in ballots from Republicans.

‘They’re trying to steal the election from the Republicans, that’s what it means,’ the president said to a room full of Republican delegates and party personnel.

‘In a very nice way, I will tell you, they are trying to steal the election just like they did it last time with spying and we caught them.’

‘And that included President Obama and that included Biden,’ he continued as he referred to the 2016 campaign as ‘Spygate.’ 

Donald Trump claimed Monday that Democrats will attempt to ‘steal the election’ in November by harvesting ballots and stopping those cast for him form being turned in. He walked on stage to cheers at his surprise arrival

The comments came as Trump made a surprise stop at the Republican National Convention Monday afternoon to make nearly one-hour remarks before a room of delegates and party personnel

On the sidelines: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, left, Debbie Meadows, center, and Ivanka Trump were at the side of the stage as Trump spoke

Socially-distanced convention: The small number of delegates are being spaced out for the event, with an attempt to make it look more like a traditional convention but without large numbers of people crammed onto the floor

The president claimed that Democrats will harvest ballots and stop those coming from Trump voters from being processed as he denounced universal mail-in voting as a ‘fraud.’

‘You get the ballot and then they have harvesting,’ Trump claimed.

He also reenacted a conversation between two voters where one only agreed to turn in the other’s ballot after finding out that they cast their vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

‘In fact, harvesting is illegal in your state,’ Trump continued of North Carolina. ‘They wanted to put a Republican, fine man, a pastor, they wanted to put him in jail because he harvested. Now they want to make harvesting legal all of a sudden.’

‘They’ll put him in jail as a Republican, right? If he was a Democrat they wouldn’t be thinking about it,’ he insisted. ‘In California they do the same thing. No repercussion.’

The president made a surprise stop at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday afternoon as delegates announced their states’ count to officially nominate Trump to become the party’s candidate in November.

During his remarks he called mail-in voting the ‘greatest scam in the history of politics’ even beyond the U.S.

‘We’re not patriotic by saying this. No,’ Trump said of Democrats pushing for universal mail-in voting for the November election.

‘We voted during World War I. We voted at the voting booth during World War II,’ the president told a room full of delegates and RNC personnel.

‘The pandemic – we’re doing very well, and people know how to handle it,’ he continued. ‘Look at the crowds. They’re doing very well. It’s very safe. it’s going to be very safe.’

Coming out onto the stage to his rally anthem ‘God Bless the USA,’ Trump was greeted by delegates at the scaled-down convention with chants of ‘four more years.’

‘We have to win. This is the most important election in the history of our country,’ Trump said to cheers from a smaller-than-usual crowd.

‘Don’t let them take it away from you,’ Trump urged the end of his nearly hour-long remarks. ‘Don’t let them take it away. North Carolina, we love you. That’s why I’m here… very special people.’

The surprise remarks came right after delegates completed the roll call nominating Trump to become the Republican nominee for the presidential race in November

With the running mate: Mike Pence joined Donald Trump on stage during the president’s unexpected appearance

Trump also reiterated that even though he is opposed to states going fully toward mail-in voting, he is a proponent of absentee voting – which he has used to cast his ballot in the past few elections.

‘If you have an absentee ballot where you request it, we’re all in favor of that,’ Trump told the enthusiastic room of Republicans.

‘Absentee, like in Florida, they have absentee is good,’ he said of the state where he recently changed his residency. ‘But other than that, they’re very, very bad. There will be millions of ballots.’

‘But these are small and they can’t control it,’ he said of absentee measures.

He also railed against potential defects with ballots, insisting that nearly one-fourth would be ‘fraudulent.’

‘They said 23 per cent of the ballots were defective. What does defective mean? it means fraud,’ Trump said.

‘It means – it means a lot of things that we won’t get into because I don’t want to be accused – you see all the cameras back there. It’s the fake news. I don’t want to be accused of anything,’ he said pointing to the back of the room in typical rally fashion.

Delegates officially nominated Trump to be their candidate in November during the roll call Monday morning, which was held in-person in Charlotte and contrasted with Democrats’ virtual roll call last week to nominate Joe Biden as their candidate.

Trump interrupted the roll call by showing up for previously unscheduled remarks, which continued with Tennessee following his hour-long speech.

The president plans to speak during the 10:00 p.m. hour all four nights of the convention – and added bonus remarks at the original convention site Monday afternoon in North Carolina.  

The president said he felt ‘obligated’ to make a visit to the location of the convention after their Governor Roy Cooper barred the RNC from having the usual massive crowd at its events

Here for the president: Trump greeted supporters as he walked off stage and to his limousine after the speech

During his remarks Monday, Trump lashed out against North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, claiming he felt an ‘obligation’ to speak in Charlotte after he was forced to move other events to different locations.

‘I just want to thank the people of North Carolina because to be honest with you I felt an obligation to be here. You have a governor who’s in a total shutdown mood. I guarantee on November 4, it’ll all open up. It’ll be fine, like most other states,’ Trump said of Cooper, who restricted the convention crowd size, making it so only the delegates were able to convene for the events. 

‘On November 4 – you know these Democrat governors, they love a shutdown until after the election is over because they want to make our numbers look as bas as possible for the economy,’ he lamented.

At the start of the pandemic, millions of Americans lost their jobs – setting all-time high unemployment numbers.

While several events are still being held at the location in Charlotte, the convention is not allowing the usual massive crowd as it has been partially moved to other locations in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.   

The nomination came as Trump’s campaign unveiled earlier in the day its 49-point plan for his second term, including a ‘return to normal’ by next year. 

Accepting his nomination: Vice President Mike Pence was at the convention in Charlotte for his own speech 

The plan also focuses on creating 10 million new in 10 months jobs, including bringing 1 million manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from China.

It also has a whole section dedicated to ‘eradicating COVID-19,’ which includes a ‘return to normal by 2021,’ ‘developing a vaccine by the end of 2020’ and ‘holding China fully accountable for allowing the virus to spread around the world.’

The other points of the plan features sections on healthcare, education, ‘draining the swamp,’ defending police, ending illegal immigration and protecting Americans workers, innovating for the future and his promised ‘America First’ stance on foreign policy.  

The Party is conducting a more business-as-usual convention with many events taking place at the convention site in Charlotte, North Carolina – including the roll call on Monday.

Other than backing Trump, the Republican National Committee has not agreed on any other platform for the 2020 convention as the president is prepared to focus on the accomplishments of his first term rather than presenting plans for a second.

In a new resolution adopted Saturday from the previous 2016 platform, the RNC made six declarations and resolved four issues – but otherwise kept the four-year-old platform the same.

‘RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda,’ the RNC listed.

In a second point it said ‘[t]hat the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention.’

‘Under the emergency procedures set forth under rule 37(e), we will not be adopting an updated version of the rules of the Republican Party until the next convention in 2024,’ Jeff Kent delegate from Washington state said during the first day of the convention Monday morning.  

Delegates arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina – the original location of the convention – over the weekend as many speakers prepare to make their remarks remotely in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic

While the RNC will not be fully virtual like the Democratic Convention was last week, the in-person events are severely scaled down 

The RNC released a resolution on its 2020 platform that said it will not adopt a new platform from 2016 until 2024, but did reaffirm it will ‘enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda’

One of Trump’s unofficial 2020 slogans is, ‘Promises Made, Promises Kept,’ which will be on full display all four nights of the convention. 

‘The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today; therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda,’ the RNC 2020 resolution reads.

The quadrennial event this year will also, in part, be put on by two producers who worked on ‘The Apprentice,’ the show where businessman Trump rose to reality television stardom.

Sadoux Kim is a longtime deputy to the show’s creator and is a lead consultant on the production of the convention. He served as a Miss Universe judge in the past when Trump owned the pageant.

Chuck LaBella, a former NBC entertainment executive, is also on the RNC payroll. He helped produce ‘The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump.’

The convention this year will feature more logistical challenges as several speakers will join from remote locations in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – similar to the Democratic convention last week.

The speaker line-up, which was released this weekend, is full of staunch Trump allies, both on and off Capitol Hill.

Traditionally, the party’s nominee only delivers remarks one night of the four-night nominating convention.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden did make appearances each night of his nominating events last week, but only made a keynote address on the final night on Thursday.

Initially Trump all the events were scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Once the state’s Governor Roy Cooper decided large gathers would not be permitted in the midst of the pandemic, Trump moved his speech – and most of the marquee events – to Jacksonville, Florida where, at the time, lockdown orders were less restrictive.

As the Sunshine State went back into lockdown after experiencing a spike over the summer, Trump was forced to rethink his plans again.

The president will make his acceptance speech from the White House on Thursday and several other events and remarks during the convention will take place in federal grounds and buildings.

The president’s top campaign aides have spent the last few weeks scrambling to come up with a platform for the next four years as the makeup of the convention changed yet again.

Senior administration officials have admitted that they are learning toward pledging Trump will continue working toward hallmarks of his first term instead of presenting entirely new ideas in order for the president to appeal to his base and respond to criticism from his own party.

Republicans try to present a diverse face by having Donald Trump endorsed by Herschel Walker

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