TPM News

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence delivered one of the most complimentary speeches of the GOP convention about Donald Trump on Wednesday night, focusing on Trump's business experience, commitment to conservative values and outsider status.

The Indiana governor's speech was even-keeled and relatively calm compared to an earlier speech by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that devolved into boos and a subsequent attempt at reconciliation from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, serving as a way to get the night back on track.

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After a horrible fundraising haul in May, Donald Trump's presidential campaign got to work in June and was able to narrow the gap with Hillary Clinton's fundraising powerhouse.

The latest monthly report to the Federal Election Commission released Wednesday night showed that Trump raised $21.9 million, a significant improvement over its meager May numbers. Clinton raised $23.8 million in the same time period.

While Trump had $20.2 million cash on hand at the beginning of July, Clinton had $44.4 million cash on hand. Still, the businessman has substantially more than the $1.29 million in cash on hand than reported the previous month.

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Two days after giving a national convention speech that blatantly lifted language from First Lady Michelle Obama, the Trump campaign tried to put an end to the drama by releasing a mea culpa from the speechwriter apparently responsible for the double-dipped speech.

But campaign finance experts told TPM on Wednesday that rather than putting the matter to rest, the statement from Meredith McIver raises further questions about who paid the Trump Organization staffer for drafting Melania’s address. If McIver, in her capacity as a Trump Organization employee, was paid by the company to draft a campaign speech for Melania Trump, that could amount to a campaign finance violation, the experts said.

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