The second night of the GOP convention was, once again, all about President Donald Trump.
Trump harnessed the weight of the White House to deliver several made-for-TV moments intended to bolster his flagging campaign. First, Trump pardoned a convicted bank robber. Then, he hosted a naturalization ceremony celebrating newly sworn-in Americans, despite the Trump administration’s harsh crackdown on immigration — legal and otherwise.
Even before the broadcast began, the convention was beset with political scandal.
One of the event’s speakers, Mary Ann Mendoza, was abruptly yanked from the schedule for boosting anti-Semitic conspiracies on Twitter.
She wasn’t the only RNC speaker taking heat. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo already faced a probe for his speech before it was even delivered.
It’s highly unusual for the United States’ top diplomat to participate in such a partisan domestic political event. In fact, Pompeo’s appearance violated his own State Department’s policy against taking a stance in a political campaign.
First lady Melania Trump closed out the evening with a keynote address from the newly revamped White House Rose Garden. She delivered a mostly apolitical speech, though she offered a few swipes at the media. In contrast to the rest of the night’s speakers, she also acknowledged the devastating impact and death toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
Catch up on all our coverage below.