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Trump news: Four RNC attendees test positive for Covid as president gives full pardon to Alice Johnson after she praised him in speech

Follow the latest updates

Gino Spocchia,Justin Vallejo
Friday 28 August 2020 00:55 BST
Trump 'profoundly' accepts GOP nomination for president of the United States

Donald Trump gave a full pardon to Alice Johnson on Friday after she praised the president at the Republican National Convention.

Trump gave his own performance at the convention top ratings for the second-longest acceptance speech since 1984, behind only himself in 2016. Fox News called it "flat and too long".

Rand Paul called on the FBI to investigate 'paid anarchists' that harassed the Senator and other RNC attendees as they left the White House on Thursday night.

The end of the Republican convention came as four people who attended in Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier in the week tested positive for Covid-19.

The House Foreign Affairs committee, meanwhile, announced the panel would carry out contempt proceedings against US secretary of state Mike Pompeo for refusing to provide subpoenaed documents in an investigation into government resources.

While thousands attended the March on Washington calling for federal police reforms, Trump finished his week at a New Hampshire campaign rally saying protesters during the RNC were just bad people and troublemakers who didn't know who George Floyd is.


Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration. 

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 08:29

Trump and Biden clash on law and order

US president Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination on Thursday with a controversial White House address attacking his Democratic opponent Joe Biden as someone who would "destroy America's greatness".

"This election will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchic agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens," said Mr Trump on the fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in a speech that lasted more than an hour.

"No one will be safe in Biden's America," he added, despite anger over racial injustice in Portland, Minneapolis and Kenosha, Wisconsin, this summer that have all seen protesters clash with federal law enforcement and Republican praise for those taking-up arms against demonstrators.

Those claims will see Republicans advance the message that civil unrest and violence following police actions towards Black Americans such as Jacob Blake, were being facilitated by Democratic leaders in those cities and states.

Other speakers at the RNC this week also incorrectly asserted that Mr Biden would "defund the police", in-line with the demands of some anti-racism campaigners.

As the night went on, Mr Biden hit-back at Mr Trump on Twitter, writing, "When Donald Trump says tonight you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America, look around and ask yourself: How safe do you feel in Donald Trump's America?"

Additional reporting by Reuters

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 08:54

'What's the name of that building?'

The president, who was stood behind a lectern adorned with the presidential seal, smirked as he turned around and pointed at the White House, asking: "What's the name of that building?".

"The fact is, we're here and they're not", Donald Trump told the Republican convention crowd on the South Lawn, who laughed in unison on Thursday night as he attacked his Democratic opponents.  

"To me, it's one of the most beautiful buildings anywhere in the world", he added, amid widespread accusations that the Trump administration had violated the Hatch Act, a 1939 law intended to prevent crossover between political campaigning and governing. 

Whilst White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said this week "nobody outside of the Beltway really cares," referring to the interstate highway circling Washington DC, Democratic politicians including the former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, called the backdrop "wrong and illegal".

"Let's be clear: it is wrong and illegal to use federal property and taxpayer resources for partisan campaigning," he wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Another former Democratic presidential candidate, Amy Klobuchar, meanwhile told Mr Trump to "Get off our lawn".

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 09:18

In the end, a speech that was four years in the making provided little on what another term in office would entail.

Instead, Donald Trump addressed the Republican convention with hard attack-lines on his opponent, Joe Biden, whose career in politics was trashed by the incumbent. 

"We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years," president Trump said, referring to the former senator and vice president's career in Washington.

Other accusations on "destroying jobs" and "America's greatness" come amid the steepest economic downturn since the second world war, and a pandemic that has seen the United States record almost six million cases - more than any other nation.

John T Bennett has the analysis on the speech that has unofficially kicked-off the final-straight to November's election, here: 

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 09:32

'Trump 2020' spelled-out over Washington Monument

Following criticism for using federal government properties and employees throughout the Republican convention this week, the US president closed-out the Republican convention on Thursday night with an impressive firework display over the Washington Monument which spelled out "Trump" and "2020".

The crowd, which included the president and some 150 attendees, looked on from the White House as Democrats accused the Republican party of blurring the lines between campaigning and governing. 

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 10:16

'Trump 2020' spelled-out over Washington Monument

Following criticism for using federal government properties and employees throughout the Republican convention this week, the US president closed-out the Republican convention on Thursday night with an impressive firework display over the Washington Monument which spelled out "Trump" and "2020".

The crowd, which included the president and some 150 attendees, looked on from the White House as Democrats accused the Republican party of blurring the lines between campaigning and governing. 

(AP/J Scott Applewhite)

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 10:27

Trump mocks Biden over 'hugging' 

In another controversial moment from Donald Trump's speech to the Republican convention, the president mocked his Democratic opponent Joe Biden as someone who had given blue collar workers “hugs and even kisses”.

In what appeared to be a sexual innuendo, the Mr Trump said: “For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses...”

As members of the audience laughed and applauded, Mr Trump paused, raised his eyebrows and smirked.

Whilst Mr Biden has been criticised in the past for being too tactile, he has not labelled women who disagree with him as "nasty" or voiced support for "Grab[ing] 'em by the p***y", as Mr Trump infamously was recorded saying.

Phil Thomas has more:

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 10:41
Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 10:59

Meghan McCain condemns Ivanka's praise of father

Following Ivanka Trump's celebration (or admission) that her father's "communication style is not to everyone’s taste", the daughter of the late Republican senator, John McCain, hit-out at the White House adviser.

It’s not a 'communication style', its cruelty and indecency," tweeted Meghan McCain on Thursday night.

That criticism came just hours after hundreds of staffers for Republican's John McCain, George W Bush, and Senator Mitt Romney announced their endorsement of the Democratic nominee Joe Biden, citing numerous failures of the Trump administration on the coronavirus pandemic.

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 11:07

More Americans die from Covid during RNC than those in 9/11

You would have thought that the coronavorus pandemic was over, with most attendees at the White House this week seen not wearing masks, or practising social distancing, amid the ongoing health crisis.

Not that they had much help with the latter, given the tight seating arrangements on the South Lawn on Thursday night.

Still, amid a four-day spectacle that has seen the Trump administration praised for its management of the pandemic, more Americans have died from the disease during the convention than those 2,9777 killed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, as the average daily death toll has neared 1,000 over the past seven days. 

Gino Spocchia28 August 2020 11:27

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