RNC 2020 Live: Melania Trump headlines from Rose Garden, Pompeo to speak from overseas trip

By LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — A partially virtual Republican National Convention continues Tuesday under the theme “Land of Opportunity” where President Donald Trump will make another appearance, promising to each night, as speakers are expected to tout his first-term contributions and paint a dark picture of America under the Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

First lady Melania Trump, who takes a softer approach to politics than her husband, will headline Tuesday’s program with remarks from the historic and freshly-renovated White House Rose Garden — four years after her first big GOP speech was criticized for striking similarities to Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention address.

Refresh for updates.

7:31 p.m. Sen. Tim Scott on ABC News Live Prime following Monday night keynote

Sen. Tim Scott closed out the first night of the Republican National Convention with a largely optimistic keynote speech that touched on his own path to the Senate as a Black man and implored Americans to “focus on the promise of the American journey.”

Much of the South Carolina politician’s speech was devoted to his biography. The GOP’s lone Black senator also used his speech to go after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and highlighted some of the former vice president’s statements on race, including comments from his tense radio interview with Charlamagne tha God back in May.

On Tuesday, ABC News’ Linsey Davis asked Scott about President Trump’s claim that he has done more for Black Americans than any other president.

“There’s a lot of accomplishments under the belt in this administration that really outpaces anything that I’ve seen in my lifetime,” he said on ABC News Live Prime. “I’ll probably leave it right there, though.”

Sen. Tim Scott on Pres. Trump's claim that he did more for Black Americans than any other president: “There’s a lot of accomplishments under the belt in this administration that really outpaces anything that I’ve seen in my lifetime. I’ll probably leave it right there, though.” pic.twitter.com/kdQYWcezIk

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 25, 2020

7:17 p.m. House Democrats move to investigate Pompeo’s participation in RNC during official overseas trip

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, a senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s participation in the RNC from Israel — and is seeking more information about any internal legal vetting of the move, whether any staff were involved in the setup for his speech, and if his participation impacted planning for his trip to the region.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable that a sitting U.S. Secretary of State, America’s top diplomat, would use official taxpayer-funded business to participate in a political party convention, particularly after the State Department published guidance that explicitly prohibits such activity,” Castro said in a statement earlier Tuesday.

“This action is part of a pattern of politicization of U.S foreign policy, for which President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, that undermines America’s standing in the world. The American people deserve a full investigation,” he said.

The State Department has defended Pompeo’s decision to appear at the convention in a “personal capacity” with officials noting that Hatch Act rules for Senate-confirmed political appointees like the secretary are less restrictive than those for rank-and-file diplomats.

“No State Department resources will be used. Staff are not involved in preparing the remarks or in the arrangements for Secretary Pompeo’s appearance. The State Department will not bear any costs in conjunction with this appearance,” the department said in a statement.

— ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel

7:07 p.m. First lady’s top aide says she’ll speak about achieving her dreams as an immigrant

First lady Melania Trump will headline the evening with what her chief of staff describes as a “very uplifting” and “very positive” address that speaks to her experience as American immigrant and includes making the case for her husband’s reelection.

“I would say it is very forward looking, she lays out some of the things she wants to do with the best in the next four years. She also reflects on some of her favorite moments as first lady which there are many. And I think she makes a really good case to the American people about why it is so important that her president continue — her husband continue on as our president for the next four years,” the first lady’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham told reporters earlier Tuesday.

When the first lady steps to the podium Tuesday night in the historic Rose Garden that she finished renovating just days ahead of the convention — to some controversy — a key task will be appealing to and making her husband more relatable to women voters. A recent ABC/Washington Post poll found that President Donald Trump trails former Vice President Joe Biden’s support among women by double digits, 56% to 40%.

On the topic of whether the first lady could help appeal to suburban women, Grisham told Fox News the first lady is “very, very relatable” and “will talk about her role as a mother. She also commends mothers across this country for how hard they work and especially right now in the age of COVID.”

Grisham said it will be one of the longest speeches the first lady has ever delivered.

–ABC News’ Ben Gittleson

Those scheduled to speak on the Tuesday night include:

First lady Melania Trump
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
Abby Johnson, anti-abortion activist
Jason Joyce, Maine lobsterman
Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation
Mary Ann Mendoza, an “Angel Mom” whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant
Megan Pauley
Cris Peterson
John Peterson
Nicholas Sandmann, a student from a Covington, Kentucky, high school who sued news outlets for their coverage of a confrontation between him and a Native American man at the Lincoln Memorial
Eric Trump, the president’s son
Tiffany Trump, the president’s daughter

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Submit a Comment