(WASHINGTON) — A partially virtual Republican National Convention continued Tuesday under the theme “Land of Opportunity” where President Donald Trump made more appearances, as speakers touted his first-term contributions and continued to 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, headlined 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.

Here are highlights from the second night of the RNC:

11:55 p.m. Melania Trump: ‘We will be honored to serve the incredible country for four more years’

In previewing the first lady’s speech, her chief of staff said it would be a “very uplifting” and “very positive” address that would include making the case for her husband’s reelection.

“As you have heard this evening, I don’t want to use this precious time attacking the other side. Because as we saw last week, that kind of talk only serves to divide the country further,” Melania Trump said.

“Donald, is a husband who supports me in all that I do. He has built an administration with an unprecedented number of women in leadership roles and has fostered an environment where the American people are always the priority. He welcomes different points of view and encourages thinking outside of the box. I know I speak for my husband and the family when I say we are so grateful that you have trusted him to be your president. And we will be honored to serve the incredible country for four more years,” the first lady said.

She continued, “We all know Donald Trump makes no secrets about how he feels about things. Total honesty is what we, as citizens, deserve from our president. Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking. And that is because he is an authentic person who loves this country and its people, and wants to continue to make it better. He wants nothing more than for this country to prosper, and he doesn’t waste time playing politics. Almost four years ago, we went into Election Day completely underestimated. Despite what is being said again this year, I know just as you do, that Americans will go to the polls and will vote on the behalf of their families, our economy, our national security and our children’s future. To vote for those ideals is not a partisan vote, it is a common sense vote because those are goals and hopes that we all believe in.”

11:19 p.m. First lady addresses racial unrest

The first lady said that when she thinks back to a defining moment of her “Be Best” campaign her mind goes back to a trip she took to Africa where she learned more about “the beginning of a cruel and often deadly journey in the era of the slave trade. I was horrified when I listened to the guide tell me so many inhumane stories, and I gained new perspectives. This time in our history, we must never forget, so that we can ensure that it never happens again.”

She then segued into the racial unrest in the U.S.

“Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on the future while still learning from our past. We must remember that, today, we are all one community, comprised of many races, religions and ethnicities,” she said. “Our diverse and storied history is what makes our country strong and yet we still have so much to learn from one another. With that in mind, I’d like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives. I urge people to come together in a civil manner, so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals.”

She continued, “I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice. And never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin. Instead of tearing things down, let’s reflect on our mistakes. Be proud of our evolution and look to our way forward. Every day let us remember that we are one nation under God and we need to cherish one another. My husband’s administration has worked to try and affect change when it comes to issues around race and religion in this country. … My husband knows how to make a real change. From the day that I met him, he has only wanted to make this country the best it can be.”

11:04 p.m. Melania Trump tells her immigration story

The first lady talked about her immigration story.

“Growing up as a young child in Slovenia, which was under communist rule at the time, I always heard about an amazing place called America. A land that stood for freedom and opportunity. As I grew older it became my goal to move to the united states and follow my dream of working in the fashion industry,” she said.

Melania Trump thanked her parents and then continued.

“I arrived in the United States when I was 26 years old. Living and working in the land of opportunity was a dream come true, but I wanted more. I wanted to be a citizen. After 10 years of paperwork and patience, I studied for the test in 2006 and became an American citizen. It is still one of the proudest moments in my life because with hard work and determination, I was able to achieve my own American dream. As an immigrant and a very independent woman, I understand what a privilege it is to live here and to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that we have. As first lady, I have been fortunate to see the American dream come true over and over again,” she said.

10:50 p.m. First lady begins opens speech addressing the pandemic

First lady Melania Trump opened her speech addressing the coronavirus pandemic and thanked health care professionals, frontline workers and teachers.

“I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed drastically. The invisible enemy, COVID-19, swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us. My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering. I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you are not alone. My husband’s administration will not stop fighting until there’s an effective treatment or vaccine available to everyone. Donald will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic,” she said.

“It is in times like this that we will look back and tell our grandchildren that, through kindness and compassion, strength and determination, we were able to restore the promise of our future. Businesses stepped up, and volunteers stepped in. People were eager to share ideas, resources, and support of all kinds with neighborhoods and strangers, alike. It has been inspiring to see what the people of our great nation will do for one another, especially when we are at our most fragile,” she continued.

10:39 p.m. Pompeo offers robust defense of Trump’s foreign policy in unprecedented speech

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a robust defense of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy in an unprecedented speech to the Republican National Convention.

“Delivering on this duty to keep us safe and our freedoms intact, this president has led bold initiatives in nearly every corner of the world,” Pompeo said, diving into specific policies without mentioning his role in them.

“As a soldier, I saw, first hand, people desperate to flee to freedom. The way each of us can best ensure our freedoms is by electing leaders who don’t just talk, but deliver,” Pompeo continued. “An American hostage imprisoned in Turkey for two years, Pastor Andrew Brunson, said upon his release that he survived his ordeal with these words of scripture — ‘Be faithful, endure and finish well.’ If we stay the course, we will.”

The four-minute address was taped Monday in between Pompeo’s meetings in Jerusalem, his first stop on a four-day tour of the region.

While Pompeo filmed it on an official overseas trip, the State Department said he delivered it “in his personal capacity.” In a wink to that, Pompeo opened his remarks by saying he has “a big job — as Susan’s husband and Nick’s dad,” but leaving out any mention of the department.

— ABC News’ Conor Finnegan

10:33 p.m. In 2nd ‘surprise’ appearance Trump witnesses naturalization ceremony at White House

In the second presidential surprise of the night, the president witnessed the naturalization ceremony for five people in the East Room of the White House.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf introduced the five who are from Bolivia, Lebanon, India, Sudan and Ghana.

One of the citizens, Rima Gideon of Lebanon earned a degree in psychology and Trump said, “In other words, she can figure me out.

Trump said that there was no greater honor than to be an American citizen and it was an “honor” to be the new citizens’ president.

“Today America rejoices as we welcome five absolutely incredible new members into our great American family,” Trump said. “You’re now fellow citizens of the greatest nation on the face of God’s Earth. Congratulations, great going.”

— ABC News’ Terrance Smith

10:26 p.m. Eric Trump: ‘Every day my father fights for the American people’

For every movement, there is a counter movement, said Eric Trump, and “In the view of the radical Democrats, America is the source of the world’s problems.”

“When I stood on this convention stage four years ago, no one fully understood the historic change that was about to take place. We could all feel it. Something was happening. A movement was forming just below the surface. The forgotten men and women, voiceless in Washington D.C., were preparing to rise up. Our movement followed the pattern of so many that came before us,” he said.

The president’s son continued, “President Reagan said, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. … It must be fought for and protected.’ This is the fight that we are in right now — and it is a fight that only my father can win. My father ran, not because he needed the job, but because he knew hardworking people across this great country were being left behind.”

He described achievements of the Trump administration referring to it as “The Great American Comeback.”

“Every day my father fights for the American people. The forgotten men and women of this country. The ones who embody the American Spirit, which is unlike anything else in the world,” Eric Trump said.

In closing, he spoke directly to his father.

“I miss working alongside you every day but I’m damn proud to be on the front lines of this fight. I am proud of what you are doing for this country,” he said.


Eric Trump to his father: “I miss working alongside you every single day, but I’m damn proud to be on the front lines of this fight … Dad, let’s make uncle Robert very proud this week. Let’s go get another 4 years. I love you very much.” #RNC2020

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 26, 2020


10:09 p.m. After general quiet during RNC, Biden/Harris campaign announces events

While Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris have been quiet the first two days of the Republican convention, Harris will attend a virtual roundtable Wednesday for the campaign, along with virtual fundraisers.


While @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris have been quiet the first two days of the #RNCConvention2020, Harris will attend a virtual roundtable tomorrow for the campaign, along with virtual fundraisers.

This is also the first time the Biden campaign has issued daily guidance for Harris

— Molly Nagle (@MollyNagle3) August 26, 2020


This is also the first time the Biden campaign has issued daily guidance for Biden’s running mate.

— ABC News’ Molly Nagle

10:04 p.m. Tiffany Trump: ‘I want to tell you the uncensored truth of what we believe in’

The president’s daughter, Tiffany Trump opened her remarks by saying that like so many other students she graduated law school during the pandemic and can relate to so many who are looking for a job.

“Many of us are considering what kind of country we want to live in,” she said. “My father built a thriving economy once and believe me, he will do it again. This election, I urge each and every one of you to transcend political boundaries. This is a fight for freedom versus oppression, for opportunity versus stagnation. A fight to keep America true to America.”

She continued, “Having hope is not weakness, and believing in miracles is a gift from God. So tonight, I want to tell you the uncensored truth of what we believe in. We believe in equality of opportunity. We believe in freedom of thought and expression. Think what you want, seek out the truth, learn from those with different opinions and then freely make your voice heard to the world. We believe in school choice, because a child’s zip code in America should not determine their future. We believe in freedom of religion for all faiths, and we believe in the American spirit. A country founded on ideas, not identity, a country where our differences are embraced. And the only country where the word dream has been attached to it, because in America, your life is yours to chart. So if you’re hearing these things, and thinking to yourself, that is the kind of country I want to live in, whether you realize it or not, you are a Trump supporter.”


Tiffany Trump: “I want to tell you the uncensored truth of what we believe in…If you’re hearing these things and thinking to yourself, ‘That is the kind of country I want to live in’—well, whether you realize it or not, you are a Trump supporter.”

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 26, 2020


9:51 p.m. Pam Bondi: ‘For Joe Biden, it’s been the land of opportunism’

The theme at the RNC is America: the Land of Opportunity, said former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, “And listening to the stories of discoveries and deliverance, you can’t help but be proud to call this country home. But for Joe Biden, it’s been the land of opportunism, not opportunity. As a career prosecutor and former attorney general of Florida, I fought corruption and I know what it looks like, whether it’s done by people wearing pinstripe suits or Orange jumpsuits.”

“At the Democrats’ convention, we were told to look at Joe Biden as the model of integrity. But when you look at his 47 year career in politics, the people who benefited are his family members, not the American people,” she continued.

Bondi, who was on Trump’s defense team during impeachment, then talked about Biden’s son Hunter, and his work overseas.

In October, Hunter Biden told ABC News in an exclusive interview, “In retrospect, look, I think that it was poor judgment on my part. Is that I think that it was poor judgment because I don’t believe now, when I look back on it — I know that there was — did nothing wrong at all.”

“However, was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is … a swamp in — in — in many ways? Yeah,” he said.

With this speech, wrote Galen Druke, FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter, “Bondi gets more specific about Biden the man.”

“So far, the GOP has spent this convention trying to tie Democrats and Biden to more unpopular people and policies in the party rather than attacking Biden’s specific record or bio (the 1994 crime bill being an exception),” Druke wrote. “With this speech, Bondi gets more specific about Biden the man. I honestly would have thought there’s be more of this.”

Perry Bacon Jr., a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight, wrote that he would be curious if the Biden campaign can avoid responding.

“If the goal is to force Biden into a dispute that won’t help him politically, this speech might do it,” Bacon wrote.

Bondi concluded, “If they want to make this election a choice between who’s saving America and who’s swindling America, bring it on. Joe says he’ll build back better. Yeah, build the Bidens back better. Our president is in this to build a safer, better, and stronger America. And he will finish what he started, to keep this a real land of opportunity for everyone.”

9:33 p.m. Nicholas Sandmann: ‘My life changed forever in that one moment’

Nicholas Sandmann visited Washington in 2019 with Covington Catholic High School for the March for Life, where he was filmed wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat in front of a Native American activist demonstrating for the Indgienous Peoples March at the Lincoln Memorial.

The activist, Nathan Phillips, claimed the teenagers yelled derogatory comments at him before Sandmann was filmed standing in front of him. Sandmann and Phillips said they were trying to defuse the encounter, which began before the initial viral video was recorded.

Phillips “endured hateful taunts with dignity and strength, then urged us all to do better,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said in a tweet.

Sandmann’s parents later sued various media outlets, including CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal over how the incident was covered, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. They have since settled the lawsuits with CNN and the Post.

President Trump tweeted that Sandmann — who is now in college — and his classmates were “treated unfairly with early judgement proving out to be false — smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback!”

“My life changed forever in that one moment,” Sandmann said Tuesday night.

“I learned that what was happening to me had a name. It was called being cancelled. As in annulled. As in revoked. As in made void. Cancelled is what’s happening to people around this country who refuse to be silenced by the far left. Many are being fired, humiliated or even threatened. Often, the media is a willing participant. But I wouldn’t be cancelled. I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me and won a personal victory. While much more must be done, I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced, responsible and accountable news coverage,” he said. “I know President Trump hopes for that too. I’m proud to say that throughout my media nightmare I have had President Trump’s unwavering support. And I know you’ll agree with me when I say no one in this county has been a victim of unfair media coverage more than President Donald Trump.”

He continued, “In November, I believe this country must unite around a President who calls the media out and refuses to allow them to create a narrative instead of reporting the facts. I believe we must join with a President who will challenge the media to return to objective journalism.”

Sandmann ended his video appearance by donning his red “MAGA” hat.


Nicholas Sandmann: “I learned that what was happening to me had a name. It was called being cancelled, as in annulled, as in revoked … Cancelled is what’s happening to people around this country who refuse to be silenced by the far left.” #RNC2020

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 26, 2020


9:24 p.m. Cissie Graham Lynch: Founders ‘did not envision a quiet, hidden faith’

Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of Billy Graham, talked about her personal support for the president and about religious liberty and freedom.

“Our Founders did not envision a quiet hidden faith,” she said. “They fought to ensure that the voices of faith were always welcomed — not silenced, not bullied.”


Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of Billy Graham: “Our Founders did not envision a quiet hidden faith. They fought to ensure that the voices of faith were always welcomed — not silenced, not bullied.” #RNC2020

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 26, 2020


9:19 p.m. Opening prayer includes Jacob Blake

The second night of RNC opened with a prayer for Jacob Blake, who remains hospitalized after being shot in the back by police Sunday afternoon.

Blake’s father, also named Jacob, told ABC News on Tuesday morning that the shooting left his 29-year-old son paralyzed from the waist down and that doctors don’t know if he’ll ever walk again. The father said he “prays it’s not permanent.”

“Lord, we come before you to ask for your spirit of peace to come over hurting communities in Wisconsin tonight,” Norma Urrabazo, who serves at the International Church of Las Vegas, said in the opening prayer. “We pray for healing and comfort to Jacob Blake and his family.”

Since Blake’s shooting, protesters have taken to the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday and into Tuesday, breaking patrol car windows, setting fires to buildings and converging at police headquarters, where officers in riot gear fired tear gas.


The second night of #RNC2020 opens with a prayer for Jacob Blake: “Lord, we come before you to ask for your spirit of peace to come over hurting communities in Wisconsin tonight. We pray for healing and comfort to Jacob Blake and his family.”

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 26, 2020


9:12 p.m. Trump pardons Jon Ponder

Trump pardoned Jon Ponder, a convicted bank robber who founded a non-profit organization that helps former inmates, on the second night of the RNC.

“Jon’s life is a beautiful testament to the power of redemption,” Trump said in the video.

“Today, praise God, I am filled with hope,” Ponder said. “A proud American citizen who has been given a second chance.”


“Today, praise God, I am filled with hope. A proud American citizen who has been given a second chance,” Jon Ponder says at #RNC2020 after pardon from President Trump.

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 26, 2020


8:59 p.m. Sen. Rand Paul: Trump ‘gets things done’

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he recalls being struck by how down to earth Trump was when they first met “many years ago, before he was running for anything.”

“A few years later, we were opponents, both running for President. We all know how that turned out. I’m proud of the job Donald Trump has done as president,” Paul said. “I don’t always agree with him. But our occasional policy differences are far outweighed by our significant agreements. But more important than simple agreement is accomplishment. President Donald Trump gets things done.”

He then spoke about the war in Afghanistan.

“President Trump is the first President in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home,” he said.

“Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War, which President Trump has long called the worst geopolitical mistake of our generation. I fear Biden will choose war again. He supported war in Serbia, Syria, and Libya. Joe Biden will continue to spill our blood and treasure. President Trump will bring our heroes home. If you hate war like I hate war … you need to support President Trump for another term,” he continued.


Sen. Rand Paul says he’s “proud” of Pres. Trump’s record: “I don’t always agree with him. But our occasional policy differences are far outweighed by our significant agreements.” #RNC2020

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 26, 2020


8:53 p.m. Pompeo teases his speech from Jerusalem on Twitter

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recorded his Tuesday night RNC speech from Jerusalem Monday and posted a photo to Twitter from there with a note that he would “see you soon.”

Pompeo was on an official visit during a four-country tour of the region.

The tweet comes from Pompeo’s “personal” Twitter account, although as Richard Haas, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush, has noted, “Any individual gives up his/her personal capacity to speak on foreign policy when he/she takes the job. It is public service, not political service.”

— ABC News’ Conor Finnegan

7:59 p.m. Former administration officials launch anti-Trump group

Miles Taylor, the former senior Trump administration official who endorsed Joe Biden last week and delivered a scathing criticism of his time working for President Donald Trump, has launched a group of current and former administration officials with the goal of ensuring Trump is not reelected.

Taylor described it to ABC News as a “cleanup crew for the Republican Party,” which is also planning reforms for the post-Trump era.


.@ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump administration official Miles Taylor speaks out on breaking with Pres. Trump and endorsing Joe Biden.

— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 18, 2020


Two current senior administration officials who are debating whether to reveal their identity have already signed on, according to a source familiar with the project.

The group is called the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform or REPAIR for short and is made up of “former U.S. officials, advisors, and conservatives — organized by ex-Trump administration officials — calling for leadership change in the White House and seeking to repair the Republican Party,” according to its website.

Last week, Taylor likened his time working with the While House with playing “whack-a-mole with bad presidential decisions” on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He warned then that his public comments were just the “opening salvo” for former administration officials coming forward to tell unflattering stories witnessed first-hand inside the administration.

— ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Libby Cathey

7:53 p.m. Black GOP congressional candidate encourages party to compete in inner cities

Black Republican congressional candidate Kim Klacik, who entered the spotlight last year with videos attacking the late Rep. Elijah Cummings on the decline of Baltimore, brought her message to the RNC Monday night.

Klacik was defeated by Democrat Kweisi Mfume to fill Cummings’ seat in a special election in April, and is now facing off against Mfume again in November’s general election. She taped her convention remarks in West Baltimore, the same location she used for a campaign video titled “Black Lives Don’t Matter to Democrats,” that was launched last week and shared by the president.

In her RNC remarks, she once again blamed Democrats for “running this beautiful city into the ground.”


GOP congressional candidate Kim Klacik, who is running for Congress in a blue district in Maryland, speaks at #RNC2020: “The Democrats still assume that Black people will vote for them … the days of blindly supporting the Democrats are coming to an end.”

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


Klacik’s videos last summer blaming Cummings for the increase in litter and crime in Baltimore prompted President Donald Trump to attack Cummings for his leadership over the city, tweeting that the city was a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

Klacik contended that Black voters will not all flock to the Democrats and that Republicans could turn the city around.

“I want Baltimore to be an example to Republicans around the country. That we can compete in our inner cities if we reach out to the citizens and deliver real results,” she said.

— ABC News’ Ivan Pereira

7:43 p.m. FiveThirtyEight presidential forecast

Heading into the second night of the RNC, Joe Biden is favored to win the 2020 election — but there’s still time for the race to tighten, according to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecast. 


Heading into the second night of the #RNC2020, Joe Biden is favored to win the 2020 election—but there’s still time for the race to tighten, according to @FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecast.


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


7:40 p.m. Nikki Haley says Trump has worked to address America’s racial divide

Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley acknowledged on Tuesday that America is not perfect, but said the country has progressed and President Donald Trump has worked to bridge the racial divide.

“America is a work in progress. You know, if you look at the fact that, you know, we were able to fight a Civil War and slavery. We got through the segregation system. We had an African American president,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday. “We got an African American female vice presidential candidate, so we are continuing to get better, but we have to always keep improving.”

ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos then pressed Haley to explain what Trump has specifically done to “address this systemic racism and the racial divide,” reminding Haley that he has tweeted a video where a man shouts “white power” and has also praised the Confederate flag, which Haley called a “divisive symbol” in her speech at the convention on Monday night.

“Well, I will tell you first of all, President Trump has passed criminal justice reform which Obama and Biden didn’t do,” she said. “We saw the lowest unemployment of African Americans and Hispanics, which wasn’t under President Obama or Biden. We have seen more funding go to the historically black colleges that never have happened under Obama and Biden.”

Haley continued, “I’m looking at results at what the president has done. We’ve seen real change. Do we have more to do? Absolutely. Are we perfect? No, but we have to continue improving, and that means getting rid of dirty cops, making sure we continue to add to criminal justice reform and making sure that every person, regardless of color and gender, has opportunities to lift them and their families up.”


“Do we have racists in our country? Yes, but we are a work in progress.” Former ambassador Nikki Haley speaks out about racism in America at the #RNC2020

— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 25, 2020


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.”

— 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

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