Donald Trump fired off a series of scathing attacks against Joe Biden and the “radical left” in a 111-minute speech to formally accept the nomination for president at the final night of the Republican National Convention.
Framing the 2020 election as a choice between the American way of life and a radical movement that assailed the country as a land of racial, economic and social injustice, Trump made the case against Biden as being on the wrong side of history.
As the evening wore on, protestors could be heard outside the White House as Trump steered into the ideological culture war between the left and right. Biden, Trump said, was a Trojan Horse for socialism who was keeping voters in the dark on the “most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a party nominee”.
While exhausted Americans were living in fear of cancel culture, the country was built on the back of independent patriots with steel in their spines and not by “timid spirits”, speech codes and conformity.
Ivanka Trump also lamented cancel culture during her RNC speech, while Rudy Giuliani said Black Lives Matter and Antifa hijacked peaceful protests that have led to months of “vicious, brutal riots”.
The final night of the Republican convention was anchored by two moving accounts from grief-stricken families. Ann Dorn, widow of former police officer David Dorn, killed during St Louis riots, was followed by the parents of Kayla Muller, who was kidnapped, murdered and raped by Isis.
The overarching message leading into the president’s speech was the #WalkAway movement, pushing the Democrats that have flipped to the Republicans in a mirroring of the same tactic used by Democratics during their convention last week.
The president’s speech came after Kamala Harris gave a pre-rebuttal earlier on Thursday, saying people were rightfully angry and exhausted after the shooting of Jacob Blake
Elsewhere, Joe Biden dismissed Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion not to debate the president, saying he was looking forward to confronting Trump on the stage in September and October.
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration.
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 08:27
Tucker Carlson criticised over Kenosha comments
Fox News host Tucker Carlson sparked controversy on Wednesday night as he claimed that a 17-year-old charged with killing Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Wisconsin was trying to “maintain order when no one else would”.
“So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder?” said the host. “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
The outspoken television personality made those comments as protests over the police-shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, continued throughout the week after it caught nationwide attention.
On Thursday morning, ‘Fire Tucker Carlson’ trended on Twitter as social media users called on Fox News to sack the host for his endorsement of the teenager shooter.
“Enough”, wrote one user. “Tucker Carlson and Fox News are not just normalising but promoting the idea that it’s defensible for random guys with assault rifles to take to the streets.”
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 09:02
Mike Pence blames Democrats for Winconsin unrest
As protests against the police-shooting of Jacob Blake and the Republican National Convention continued on Wednesday night, the GOP opted against acknowledging the actions of a white police officer – whilst pinning blame for protests on Democratic mayors and state officials for allegedly hindering police departments.
“Joe Biden says America is systemically racist. And that law enforcement in America has a quote, ‘implicit bias’ against minorities,” said the vice president.
“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.”
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 09:26
Carlson and Trump Jr. provide alternative RNC programming
Fox News viewers on Wednesday would have noticed a change to the Republican convention programming, with the network cutting away from some speeches to show Tonight host Tucker Carlson interviewing the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 09:36
Could Wisconsin voters turn towards Trump?
For residents of Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the police-shooting of a black man on Sunday sparked protests this week, a summer of unrest seen in places like Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis has arrived on their own doorsteps.
Republicans have argued that Democrat-led cities and states are the cause of such unrest, despite president Donald Trump labelling demonstrators as “thugs” whilst deploying federal police to squash unrest.
Sabrina Tavernise and Ellen Almer Durston report on how voters are feeling ahead of the November election, with some believing that Republicans are the answer:
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 09:49
As the United States’ pandemic death roll reached 180,000 lives on Wednesday night, White House coronavirus task force chief, Mike Pence, was out fist-bumping crowds at the Republican convention in Baltimore.
The vice president was seen fist-bumping with members of the audience without wearing a face mask, just moments after he praised the Trump administration on its handling of the crisis.
With the United States recording more cases and deaths than any other nation, the irony did not go unnoticed on social media.
It comes just days after health authorities in Charlotte, North Carolina, complained to the RNC that it was concerned about low levels of social distancing and mask wearing during some convention events.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention – of course – recommends the use of masks to slow the spread of the virus, which has now infected some 5.8 million Americans.
Andrew Buncombe has the latest:
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 10:00
Trump treats women ‘equal to men’, says Conway
On Wednesday night, multiple speakers to the Republican National Convention went on stage to praise the US president on his alleged empowerment of women.
White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway was among them, with an address that hailed Donald Trumps ‘equal’ treatment of women, who she said had been empowered by the president throughout his career.
Ms Conway, who announced just days ago that she was stepping down from her position as one of president Trump’s closest aides, noted her own rise to the top of the White House under his administration.
Campaigners pointed-out moments later that president Trump has a long-term history of making demeaning remarks about women, including labelling the Democratic nominee for vice president, Kamala Harris, “nasty”.
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 10:17
Anti-Trump advert plays president’s misogynist comments
In another attack ad against Donald Trump, The Lincoln Project has compiled the US president’s comments on women from before and during his time in office.
The video begins with White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany telling the Republican convention on Wednesday that she wanted her daughter “to grow up in president Donald J Trump’s America”.
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 10:41
McEnany on healthcare under Trump
“This president stands with Americans who have pre-existing conditions,” said the White House press secretary on Wednesday night, despite Trump administration moves to dismantle existing protections.
Donald Trump, who has rolled-back the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ensuring that healthcare providers do not denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, was praised by Ms McEnany for supporting her during mastectomy and a breast cancer scare.
Still, the US president’s plans could see some 54 million Americans stripped of their pre-existing coverage under the ACA, according to analysis.
Alex Woodward has the latest:
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 10:55
Who is the Teenager that ‘killed two’ in Wisconsin?
Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder. The 17-year-old supporter of Donald Trump had, just hours earlier, allegedly shot dead two people amid a third night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
But what motivated Rittenhouse to travel some 20 miles from his hometown in Antioch to another city to allegedly kill two people, and what do we know about the young man so far?
Gino Spocchia27 August 2020 11:10